Qatar Airways investments equal nearly 10 percent of Cathay Pacific ownership

Expanding its reach into the Asia-Pacific region, Qatar Airways agreed to purchase shares amounting to about 9.6 percent ownership in Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways.

Cathay Pacific, like Qatar Airways, belongs to the oneworld global airline alliance. According to Reuters, Qatar Airways bought roughly 378 million of Cathay Pacific’s shares from Hong Kong’s Kingboard Chemical Holdings for about US$661 million.

Qatar Airways’ investment strategy since 2015 has focused on increasing stakes in airlines based outside the Middle East. The investment in Cathay Pacific comes about three months after Qatar Airways said it had ended plans to acquire 10 percent of American Airlines, after that plan was met with resistance in the United States. Several U.S.-based carriers, including American Airlines, have publicly spoken out against what American Airlines CEO Doug Parker called the “illegal subsidies” Gulf carriers receive from their governments.

In response to the charges by U.S. carriers, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in September that U.S. carriers lobbying the government to limit Gulf carrier access to “shut up and mind their own business.”

In December 2016, Qatar Airways acquired 10 percent of Chile-based LATAM Airlines. Qatar Airways also owns 20 percent of IAG, the holding company of British Airways and Iberia, and 49 percent of Italian carrier Meridiana.

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