Qatar Airways now owns fully 25% of British Airways parent company IAG

Feb 19, 2020

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Qatar Airways has increased its stake in International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia, among others.

The airline previously held 21.4% of IAG, however, on Wednesday morning, the airline announced that it had increased that amount to 25.1% — a move that cost around £461 million.

“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 CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a statement.

Qatar first invested in IAG in 2015 with a 9.99% stake. Since the initial investment, Qatar has been steadily increasing its stake. Last month, IAG lifted restrictions that capped how much non-European Union investors could hold of the company.

Last year, IAG announced its intentions to acquire Spanish-based Air Europa. With the addition of the carrier, IAG will also own British Airways, Aer Lingus, Vueling, Iberia and LEVEL.

In January, long-time CEO of IAG Willie Walsh announced he would step down on 26 March before fully retiring on 30 June. With the departure of Walsh and increased investment from Qatar Airways, the Doha-based airline will likely have more leverage.

In addition to holding a stake in IAG, Qatar also invests in Cathay Pacific, LATAM and China Southern. The airline also holds a stake in Air Italy, which is set to cease operations as of 25 February.

Featured photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images.

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