Markets

Qatar Airways withdraws plan to buy American Airlines stake

Qatar Airways withdraws plan to buy American Airlines stake

The Texas-based U.S. airline said the Qatari decision left American's immediate plans unchanged.

Qatar Airways Cargo has also expanded its footprint in South America, with commencement earlier this year of freighter services to São Paulo, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Quito, Ecuador.

"Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives", the Doha-based carrier said in an emailed statement Wednesday without elaborating.

In July, American severed its codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways, preventing fliers from booking a single itinerary on flights across both airlines.

Originally, Qatar had made an unsolicited bid to purchase $808 million of American. But other reports suggested they were willing to lessen the percentage to avoid needing Board of Directors approval.

Qatar Airways has scrapped its plans to buy an equity stake in American Airlines.

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The carrier, however, said they would continue looking for ways to expand their US investment portfolio. "Qatar Airways will continue to seek opportunities to invest in global aviation".

Parker vowed that despite the prospect of Qatar becoming a large shareholder, American would continue to fight Qatar, Emirates and Etihad Airways over the allegations of unfair government subsidies. Parker said Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker approached him about an investment during a secret meeting at an airline-industry conference in a Mexican resort city.

In December 2016, Qatar Airways had purchased a 10 percent stake in Chile's LATAM Airlines Group for United States dollars 608 million.

However, in another twist late on Wednesday (2 August), Qatar Airways said it was reversing its decision to build a stake in the United States carrier.

American did post its latest earnings release on Friday, and its performance was largely cheered by investors.

On Tuesday, Qatar filed a complaint about the embargo with the World Trade Organization.


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