Qatar Airways Seeks 10-Percent Stake In American Airlines

Qatar Airways Seeks 10-Percent Stake In American Airlines

Qatar Airways Seeks 10-Percent Stake In American Airlines

The U.S. carriers charge that their Gulf rivals have received billions of dollars in unfair state subsidies, allegations the Gulf carriers deny.Investors cheered news of Qatar's potential investment in American, sending shares of the U.S. carrier up more than five percent in pre-market trading.

But American, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines have been pushing US political leaders to curtail the growth of the Middle East's three biggest airlines, Qatar, Emirates and Etihad, saying that they are subsidized airlines that have competed unfairly.

Qatar also submitted an antitrust filing stating its intent, which is subject to review by the U.S. Department of Justice.

United States stocks were flat early Thursday as oil prices stabilized while airlines got a boost on news that Qatar Airways is seeking a stake in American Airlines. "Qatar Airways indicated that it has an interest in acquiring approximately a ten percent stake", the Securities and Exchange Commission filing stated.

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Acquiring 4.75% or more of American Airlines' outstanding stock requires advance approval from the board, but the company said it has not received a request. Under federal law, a foreign entity can not own more than 25% of a USA airline, he wrote.

Although Qatar Airways offered "unsolicited notice" alerting to its intended investment and the companies' CEOs have discussed the transaction, the American Airlines board has not yet been formally approached with the matter. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have barred Qatar Airways flights and forced the Doha-based carrier to alter other flight paths to avoid flying over hostile territory.

American Airlines is no fan of the world's favorite airline, Qatar Airways.

However, in defiance of the blockade and its implications, Qatar Airways is still forging ahead with its ambitious plans for growth.

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"If anything, this development strengthens our resolve to ensure the US government enforces its trade agreements regarding fair competition with Gulf carriers", Parker wrote. Both Qatar Airways and American Airlines are members of the group - which promotes coordination among its members to ease travel pains for worldwide fliers.

American said in a regulatory filing its opposition to the Gulf carriers would not be changed by Qatar Airway's interest.

Representatives from Qatar and American didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The top domestic carrier was Delta Air Lines, which came in at No. 32, up three from 2016, followed by Alaska Airlines, which made the biggest jump year over year of any of the top 100 airlines, moving 24 spots from 60 to 36. USA airlines have raised concerns that the subsidies that Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates receive from their home countries create unfair competition and could squeeze them out of key markets. "In that case, we would agree with them". Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, accused Qatar of "asymmetric financial warfare". Qatar already owns a 20% stake in IAG, which is British Airways' parent company, 10% in LATAM and is attempting to purchase a 49% stake in Italian-carrier Meridiana.

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