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Qatar Airways to adopt Avios, dropping Qmiles

Qatar Airways to adopt Avios, dropping Qmiles

Old Feb 22, 2022, 3:38 am
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Qatar Airways to adopt Avios, dropping Qmiles

Qatar Airways has just announced that it is to adopt Avios as its reward currency.

Here's a cut and paste from my own article:

"Qatar Airways has announced that it is to adopt Avios as its reward currency. From some point in late March, the airlines will drop Qmiles, the currency of its existing loyalty programme. If you currently have a Qatar Privilege Club account, your existing Qmiles balance will be converted into Avios at the rate of 1:1. There will also be no change to the current Qmiles expiry rules when the currency switches to Avios.

Qpoints and Qcredits remain unchanged.


It's not clear what this means to UK Avios collectors. The announcement this morning has been done to give Privilege Club members the required advanced notice of major changes to the programme. There will be a further announcement in a couple of weeks which will let us know exactly how the new relationship will work in practice. You can, of course, already use Avios to book flights on Qatar Airways. To that extent, this is not a revolutionary change.

We don’t know if it will be possible to use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move Avios directly to and from British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club. Even if you can, why would you? The benefits won’t be totally clear until we compare reward charts, taxes and charges. Qatar Airways has promised its members that its own reward charts will be unchanged.

If you can move Avios between the programmes, it will open up new partnership opportunities. You can convert Qmiles into Accor Live Limitless points, for example, so it may soon be possible to move Avios into Accor points. Privilege Club has different hotel and car hire partners to British Airways, which would broaden your collecting opportunities.

Some readers may find it more profitable to credit flights to Privilege Club and not Executive Club. Unless the schemes are fully aligned, certain classes of ticket on certain airlines will earn more Avios in one scheme than the other. Some readers may find they want to earn status in Privilege Club instead of Executive Club, given that they no longer need to give up earning Avios to do so.

We’ll obviously be looking at all this in detail as more information emerges.

All we know officially for now is that:

“IAG Loyalty and Qatar Airways are working to introduce new customer benefits from the partnership, as well as more ways to earn and collect Avios around the world in the coming months.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, said:

“The transition from Qmiles to Avios marks a ground-breaking new era for Privilege Club, enabling our loyal members to participate in the most compelling loyalty network and the largest portfolio of partners in the industry. As the World’s Best Airline, Qatar Airways continues to redefine loyalty through the adoption of exciting digital innovations to create unique world-class experiences for our members. We look forward to revealing more details of this exciting change over the coming weeks, as we explore even more ways to reward our valued members both on and off the ground.”

For clarity, Qatar Airways is not buying an equity stake in IAG Loyalty. It will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of International Airlines Group. It’s not clear, economically, how the swap from Qmiles to Avios will be treated in terms of the Qatar Airways balance sheet."

Our full article which includes relevant links is here: https://www.headforpoints.com/2022/0...s-drop-qmiles/
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 4:19 am
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If QR is genuinely not changing reward charts as part of this, this seems to be only upside and very good news for people who fly QR but already credit to BAEC in particular. I would guess this is already the second largest chunk of QR passengers after QRPC members, although to be honest I don't even know if there might be more of them than people crediting to QRPC given how hard QR worked to alienate QRPC members pre-COVID.

I would assume the fact that QR's other big investment in CX is in deep trouble may mean QR will double down on co-operation with IAG generally, which would be nice.
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 4:19 am
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Interesting. Are QR surcharges on own metal as high as BA?
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by Deckter
Interesting. Are QR surcharges on own metal as high as BA?
QR surcharges are substantially lower than BA's surcharges for QR flights.

Full press release now out: https://www.qatarairways.com/en/pres...Press-releases
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 6:48 am
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The change sounds very odd. Al-B doesn't like to give away control of anything, why would they expose their loyalty program to the IAG loyalty system and be dependent on IAG to set the value of the miles/points? IAG is very much driven by the situation in Europe and aligns itself with/against the other EU3, the circumstances and competitive environment QR face are completely different

Don't get me wrong, this is a change I personally like, Avios can be easily aquired in the US market via CCs so my redemptions on QR will get even easier
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 8:06 am
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If Avios cannot move to/from BA/QR then I don't understand what this change is, simply changing the name will not achieve anything, for sure it's more than just the name... in other words logic tells me that movement will most likely indeed be possible even though it's not been confirmed yet.

If we can freely move Avios from BA to QR it will be great for extra flexibility, but I would not be surprised if they allow it but charge a fee which will temper my enthusiasm. I guess it will depend how much is the fee.
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 9:27 am
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If this change means that QRPC members can start booking flights with partner airlines more easily, as others can on QR, then that will be a good step forward.

But the qmiles QRPC members require for a QR flight are currently a lot less than BA quote their members for the same flight in avios, so it will be interesting to see what happens there re partner ticket redemption rates. And if transfers between schemes will be 1:1.

There is bound to be downside, I guess shall have to wait to see what it might be...


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Old Feb 22, 2022, 9:42 am
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Can someone "in the know" explain the business case for this move from the point-of-view of QR? You give up the right to "control" your own liabilities and devalue them and basically commit to let BA control the value of your liabilities. What's the potential upside for any airline that is capable of running a program on their own?
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by mpkz
Can someone "in the know" explain the business case for this move from the point-of-view of QR? You give up the right to "control" your own liabilities and devalue them and basically commit to let BA control the value of your liabilities. What's the potential upside for any airline that is capable of running a program on their own?
Doesn't QR own a big piece of IAG?
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by mpkz
Can someone "in the know" explain the business case for this move from the point-of-view of QR? You give up the right to "control" your own liabilities and devalue them and basically commit to let BA control the value of your liabilities. What's the potential upside for any airline that is capable of running a program on their own?
Originally Posted by angetenar
Doesn't QR own a big piece of IAG?
angetenar is correct. I believe around 25% of IAG (parent of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, etc).
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by angetenar
Doesn't QR own a big piece of IAG?
Yeah, but they'll never own a controlling share, which makes this a bit difficult to understand. In terms of the economics, it's at best neutral unless there's some synergy here I'm not seeing - QR's share of IAG Loyalty is presumably also 25%, so yes, they make that bigger, but that's not free and at the same time they lose control.
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 11:29 am
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Further digging reveals that QR is the single largest shareholder of IAG, see here, in particular the table at the bottom of page 106. A number of comments interspersed throughout the report seem to indicate that QR holds significant influence; you'll find a lot of statements like "[position] was filled by [person] on recommendation by Qatar Airways, IAG's largest shareholder." However, I'm hesitant to say that QR owning 25% of IAG translates to QR owning 25% of IAG Loyalty; the corporate governance structure of any major airline is essentially a black hole. You can view some of the subsidiary structure beginning on page 209.
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by mpkz
Can someone "in the know" explain the business case for this move from the point-of-view of QR? You give up the right to "control" your own liabilities and devalue them and basically commit to let BA control the value of your liabilities. What's the potential upside for any airline that is capable of running a program on their own?
We don't know yet if it will be the case. They might not allow cheap transfers in/out of BAEC to QRPC, not to mention that they already said they will retain their own award chart, so in theory it could be set up such that their liabilities do not change materially, if at all.
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 1:05 pm
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Just a few more updates on this

* QR confirms its Avios will be fully transferrable to BAEC (for example), allowing frequent flyers to pool all their Avios into a single account
* the airline also promises there will be no subsequent revaluation aka the dreaded devaluation on redemption rates after it moves from Qmiles to Avios: "There is no revaluation. QR is not changing its value grid."
* QR confirms that its Avios will be redeemable on A380 F (just in case some were wondering if that might not be the case)
* QR and BA will increase the number of Avios-based reward seats across their flights, to accomodate an expected jump in demand once both airlines are sharing a common currency.
* Asked "Will QR redemption bookings have the same flexibility if made with Avios as they do today when made with Qmiles?" the spokesperson says "Yes, the great value proposition is upheld and there are no change in pricing or fare rules."

More at https://www.executivetraveller.com/news/qatar-avios
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Old Feb 22, 2022, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Raffles
We dont know if it will be possible to use Combine My Avios to move Avios directly to and from British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club. Even if you can, why would you?
To upgrade on QR
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