Qatar Airways has acquired a 9.99% stake in British Airways/Iberia parent company International Airlines Group (IAG).
The Gulf carrier said the move was “part of efforts to enhance operations and strengthen existing commercial ties initiated through codeshare agreements with IAG as well as its membership of the oneworld alliance.”
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “IAG represents an excellent opportunity to further develop our Westward strategy. Having joined the oneworld alliance, it makes sense for us to work more closely together in the near term and we look forward to forging a long-term relationship.”
In a statement, IAG concurred it already had a close relationship with Qatar Airways through the oneworld alliance and welcomed the Doha-based airline’s commitment to strengthening existing commercial ties.
IAG CEO Willie Walsh said the company will “talk to them about what opportunities exist to work more closely together and further IAG’s ambitions as the leading global airline group.”
As a non-European Union (EU) shareholder, Qatar is subject to an overall cap on ownership in IAG as a result of the requirement for EU airlines to be majority owned by EU shareholders. However, Qatar said it “may consider increasing its stake further over time although this is not currently intended to exceed 9.99%.”