Qatar Airways buys 9.9% stake in British Airways owner
International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, has a new shareholder – fellow oneworld alliance member Qatar Airways, with a 9.9% stake.
Worth around £1.15 billion (€1.5 billion), the stake gives Qatar closer links with a group with two major European hubs and strong transatlantic networks, the BBC writes.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, said he was delighted Qatar Airways had become a “long-term supportive shareholder”. IAG would explore what “opportunities exist to work more closely together and further IAG’s ambitions as the leading global airline group,” he added.
Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, said: “IAG represents an excellent opportunity to further develop our westwards strategy.”
The route networks of the two parties are largely complementary. Qatar said it was open to the possibility of increasing its holding in the future.
[pictured: Qatar Airways in oneworld livery; photo courtesy oneworld]