Despite being left out of a number of recent airline deals, the Star Alliance is not enthusiastic about the prospect of a major Gulf based carrier joining it. The three major Gulf carriers – Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways – have been lately shaking up the airline industry with their deep pockets and partnerships. The Star Alliance’ chief executive, Mark Schwab, has said that a Gulf carrier would not add anything to the alliance “that they already do not have.”
Qatar Airways recently announced plans to join oneworld while Etihad has entered into a partnership with SkyTeam’s Air France-KLM. Emirates and Qantas – a oneworld member – have also entered into a comprehensive partnership that starts in March of next year.