Pending all speculation, Qatar Airways joined the Oneworld alliance in New York. Qatar became the first of any major Middle Eastern carriers to join an alliance. It will take between a year and 18 months for Qatar to be fully implemented into Oneworld, hand-holding through the period will be done by British Airways. The airline will be able to provide Oneworld with 15 more destinations in three countries: Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles. Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker was quoted at the New York press conference, that alliances were playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today.