Qatar Airways Group increases its shareholding in International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), from 21.4 per cent to 25.1 per cent for an estimated USD 600 million. The IAG group includes British Airways, Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling and Ireland’s Aer Lingus.
IAG, which is registered in Madrid and headquartered in London, capped its equity held outside the European Union at 47.5 per cent a year ago to comply with EU ownership rules, a situation that could be further complicated by Britain’s departure from the EU. In January IAG said non-EU ownership had fallen to 39.5 per cent.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker says: “Our investment to date has been highly successful and the announced increase in our shareholding is evidence of our continued support of IAG and its strategy.
“Qatar Airways continues to consider opportunities to invest in airlines and support management teams that share our vision to enhance travel opportunities for airline passengers across the globe.”
Qatar Airways also has minority holdings in international carriers Cathay Pacific and China Southern, and said earlier this month it was interested in doubling its holding in LATAM Airlines Group to 20 per cent and was in talks to buy a 49 per cent stake in Africa’s RwandAir.
The airline also owns 49 per cent of Air Italy, whose investors this month said was being placed into liquidation because of “persistent and structural market problems.”
Qatar first invested in IAG in 2015, buying 9.99 per cent of the company, and has steadily increased its share holding since then.