Qatar Airways Scraps Plans to Invest in American Airlines

Aug 2, 2017

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Update 8/2/117 12:58pm: American Airlines has provided the following statement:

We respect Qatar Airways’ decision not to proceed with its proposed investment in American Airlines. This in no way changes the course for American. Our 120,000 team members remain energized and focused on taking care of those who entrust us with their travel needs. We couldn’t be more excited to keep our focus on that mission.


Well, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker can rest easy tonight — the carrier’s Doha-based partner/rival, Qatar Airways, has suddenly decided to scrap its plans to invest in AA. In late-June, Qatar shared its intention to initially purchase 4.75% of American Airlines on the open market, with plans to eventually increase that investment to 10%. Well, that plan is no more.

Qatar Airways sent out the following statement on Wednesday:

Qatar Airways has taken the decision not to proceed with its proposed passive financial investment in American Airlines. Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives. Qatar Airways will continue to investigate alternative investment opportunities in the United States of America and elsewhere that do meet our objectives. Qatar Airways will continue to seek opportunities to invest in global aviation to support the airline’s goal to offer the best possible travel experience for its customers.

So, according to the statement, “the investment no longer meets [Qatar Airways’] objectives.” However, assuming the carrier’s objective was to antagonize American’s top executives, it can probably consider this mission to be a success.

Was Qatar Airways serious about this investment from the beginning, or was the carrier’s CEO simply using this gesture to add fuel to the growing fire between Middle Eastern giants Emirates, Etihad and Qatar, and their US counterparts? We may never know — well, until a reporter queries outspoken CEO Akbar Al Baker at Qatar’s next press conference, perhaps.

We’ve reached out to American Airlines for comment.

Featured image by John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images.

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