State-owned flag carrier Qatar Airways and British Airways have concluded the latest phase in the expansion of their alliance, establishing the largest airline joint business.

The carriers have now added 42 new countries to their shared network, which includes Italy, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the Maldives.

This takes the total number of destinations served together by the partners to 185 across 60 countries, thereby offering more access between destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

With this move, the two airlines now provide more global connectivity than any other joint airline business.

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “The growing collaboration between Qatar Airways and British Airways shows our customers our common goal to offer an unparalleled network with unique benefits.

“Travellers can now experience the best in quality and service as they travel across our joint network.

“The joint business between our airlines cements both Qatar Airways and British Airways as industry leaders, aiming to provide the utmost flexibility and unrivalled connectivity to our customers.”

The expansion of the collaboration will facilitate seamless connecting journeys on single tickets through Doha and London.

This partnership is part of the two airlines’ plan to ‘Move Further Together’ by strengthening the joint network.

British Airways chairman and CEO Sean Doyle said: “This is a huge milestone in our long-standing relationship with Qatar Airways, an airline that shares our passion for customer service, choice, and flexibility.

“From idyllic holiday hotspots such as the Maldives and Thailand to business hubs such as Singapore, we are pleased to open up the world as the travel industry continues to make steps towards its recovery.”