It seems that Qatar Airways is hedging its bets in Asia, with the group purchasing 5% of China Southern Airlines
With Qatar Airways still at the mercy of its regional partners who cut off access to the country for political reasons, the airline has been expanding beyond the Middle East and Gulf area.
Currently, the airline owns:
- 20% of IAG (British Airways/Iberia/Aer Lingus/Vueling/LEVEL), covering Europe
- 10% of LATAM Group
- 49% of Meridiana of Italy (re-branded and operated as Air Italy)
- 9.99% of Cathay Pacific
Qatar Airways’ Chairman Mr Ali Shareef Al Emadi said,
“Qatar Airways regards our shareholding in China Southern Airlines as an important part of our strategic investment in the largest airline in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets.”
Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive Mr Akbar Al Baker states
“China Southern Airlines is one of the most prestigious airlines in the Chinese domestic market and an important market player in the world, with massive potential for cooperation in the future. Given the complementary strengths and resources of each of China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways, there are opportunities for us to work together and build a long term relationship in ways that would bring benefits to customers of both airlines.
The investment is a clear demonstration of Qatar Airways’ continued commitment to connecting travellers across all corners of the world in a way that is meaningful and convenient. Qatar Airways very much looks forward to the opportunity to deepen our working relationship with this great airline and further enhance the travel opportunities across the globe.
And on an interesting point, guess who owns 2.9% of China Southern Airways… you’ve guessed it – American Airlines.
Interesting times for China Southern
China Southern recently announced its plans to exit Skyteam, with American Airlines announcing it was to support the airline through more codeshares and deeper working together. It seems that Qatar Airways has decided to butt into the party and support China Southern in a way that is more appealing – hard cash.
The investment seems to be just that with Qatar Airways taking 5% of the airline. According to Reuters, Qatar Airways may choose to increase their increase their stake at a later date.
How this will play out and what strategic direction China Southern Airlines will make will be one to watch for the future.
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