The extended Joint Business deal is expected to get regulatory go-ahead in first-half 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: British Airways (BA) and Qatar Airways on Thursday will extend their Joint Business operations and network coverage.

The agreement is expected to give customers better access from Europe to popular destinations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australasia, such as Singapore, Sydney, Colombo and Nairobi. It will also improve access to destinations across Europe such as Amsterdam, Madrid or Dublin. The airlines expect to receive news of any relevant regulatory approvals of their expanded joint proposition in the first-half of 2022.

“Expanding our Joint Business with our strategic airline partner, British Airways, is an important milestone in our ambition of providing customers access to the most extensive route network and unrivalled product,” said Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways Group.

The move follows British Airways’ relaunch of daily services to Doha, with the airline’s first flight taking off from Gatwick last week. The flight was operated by a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft featuring three cabins - Club World (Business), World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) and World Traveller (Economy). Qatar’s national carrier is the largest shareholder in BA’s parent firm IAG.

This winter, the airlines will jointly operate up to six daily flights between London and Doha - five from London Heathrow and one from London Gatwick. “The proposed expansion of the Joint Business will be great news for customers, offering them access to more destinations across the world with seamless connections,” said Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO. “We know customers are always looking for more options to connect onto popular holiday hotspots such as the Maldives and Seychelles, and this expansion will allow them to do just that.”