Qatar 787 Paint Hangaroneworld® members elect Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines are to participate in the Global Explorer round-the-world fare offered by all the alliance’s members and selected other carriers – Qatar Airways from today and SriLankan from tomorrow.

The move represents a first step by both airlines towards their implementation into oneworld, which is on track for the year ahead – when they will start participating in the full range of the alliance’s fares and offering all its other services and benefits. Their oneworld joining dates will be announced in due course.

Meantime, Qatar Airways’ entire global network, covering 125 destinations in 71 countries worldwide from its Doha hub, and SriLankan’s entire global schedule serving 32 airports in 22 countries will both now feature as part of Global Explorer, which is one of the most popular round-the-world fares available.

The Gulf carrier adds four countries to the map served by Global Explorer – Iran, Mozambique, Rwanda and the Seychelles – and 17 more destinations across the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and Africa, including India’s Amritsar, Goa and Kochi and Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro. It also significantly expands the routing alternatives available through Global Explorer, by adding direct connections between hundreds of city pairs, in particular between Asia and Africa or Southern Europe.

SriLankan connects one destination to the Global Explorer map, India’s Tiruchchirappalli, while also adding more routing options, in particular in South Asia, where it is not only the flag carrier of Sri Lanka but also the leading international airline serving the Maldives and also has a significant presence in Southern India.

As Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines start participating in Global Explorer, Gulf Air withdraws its participation. Global Explorer tickets issued before 28 February with sectors on Gulf Air will be honoured.

Qatar Airways and SriLankan’s addition to Global Explorer expands the worldwide reach of Global Explorer – which offers simple, flexible, and great value round-the-world travel for trips of up to one year long – to some 900 destinations in 160 countries.

The round-the-world fare also covers all routes offered by oneworld’s existing member airlines – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and Russia’s S7 plus some 30 affiliated carriers, including Austria’s Niki, OpenSkies, South Africa’s Comair, Denmark’s SUN-AIR, Iberia Express, Iberia Regional Air Nostrum, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, LAN Peru, and QantasLink.

Global Explorer also includes a number of airlines that have no links with oneworld – Aer Lingus, Air Pacific, Alaska Airlines and its Horizon Airlines sister, Meridianafly and WestJet. Flights carrying the Qantas code but operated by Air Tahiti Nui, Jetstar, South African Airways and Vietnam Airlines are included too, expanding the reach covered by the fare further still.