Cathay Pacific (CX) and Qatar Airways (QR) have celebrated the launch of a new codeshare service for flights between Hong Kong and Doha (see here).
The two Oneworld members have also announced an extension to the codeshare agreement which encompasses numerous routes, including many of CX’s services from Hong Kong to Europe, Africa and the Gulf, along with QR’s flights from Doha to Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan.
Effective from this month, CX flights between its main hub of Hong Kong and destinations such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Auckland, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Seoul will feature the “QR” code, while QR’s services between its Doha hub and Jeddah, Nairobi, Athens, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona and Venice will sport the “CX” code.
QR chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “Alliances and code shares alike are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today – and that will continue long into the future. Becoming a member of Oneworld last October was one of the most significant landmarks in Qatar Airways’ history. It has strengthened our competitive offering and the advent of these new code share routes with our partner Cathay Pacific will expand travel options for Qatar Airways passengers across routes in Australasia and North Asia.”
The new agreement is particularly useful for those flying from Doha to Australia. QR currently only has direct flights to two Australian cities – Melbourne and Perth. Flying to, say, Sydney would require transiting through Perth, from which QR offers onward connections through codeshare flights with Qantas and Virgin Australia. The shortest layover is over six hours and the whole journey will be some 21 hours long.
But now, one can choose the QR daily flight from Doha to Hong Kong, which arrives in the SAR at 2050. CX has a direct service for Sydney that departs under an hour later at 2130, but timing might be too tight. A safer bet is to connect to another Sydney-bound flight by CX that departs at 2355 – an acceptable three hours wait. Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members can take advantage of the extensive range of lounge facilities, including those offered by CX (see here) and Qantas (see here). Plus, unlike transiting through Perth which requires traveling from international to one of the domestic terminals, passengers can make the connection at HKIA in the same terminal.
The second daily flight from Doha to Hong Kong is operated by CX. It arrives at HKIA at 1440, which is useful for passengers connecting via Hong Kong towards Auckland. QR does have a codeshare agreement with Air New Zealand (ANZ) for connections at HKIA, but that latter only flies four times a week to Auckland from this airport. CX, on the other hand, offers a daily service on this route, although the layover is slightly long at six hours (connection with Air New Zealand is four and a half hours).
The normal Oneworld member privileges also apply. Top-tier members of CX’s Marco Polo Club as well as QR’s Privilege Club can also enjoy reciprocal benefits including lounge access, extra baggage allowances and priority boarding. The same benefits currently available on the Doha–Hong Kong codeshare flights will be afforded to the new codeshare routes.
In addition, gold-tier members will get an extra 15kg of checked baggage allowance, while silver-tier members will enjoy an extra 10kg. This is on top of the free checked baggage allowance of 40/35/30kg for business, premium economy and economy class members respectively.