Qatar Airways Ltd., spurned by American Airlines Group and isolated in the Persian Gulf, snapped up 9.6 percent of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. in a surprise move that extends a policy of investing in major global carriers and provides a first foothold in East Asia.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Air’s chief executive officer, said the tieup advances his investment strategy by securing a stake in “one of the strongest airlines in the world,” while Cathay counterpart Rupert Hogg added that he’s looking forward to a “continued constructive relationship” with the Gulf operator.
Al Baker is also planning to establish a division in India that could operate as many as 100 single-aisle planes as Qatar seeks to tap into the world’s fastest growing major aviation market. Behind the Cathay Pacific stake is the battle for better access to China, which is expected to become the world’s biggest aviation market within a decade. U.S. carrierDelta Air Lines Inc. bought a minority stake in China Eastern Airlines Corp. in 2015, while American purchased a minority stake in China Southern Airlines Co. this year.
Source Credit: Bloomberg
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