7 JANUARY 2019
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Qatar Airways Group has taken a 5% stake in China Southern Airlines as part of a worldwide strategy which already includes a 49% investment in Air Italy and 20% in British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG).
Qatar said its new partner was “an important market player with massive potential for cooperation in the future”, with chairman Ali Shareef Al Emadi describing the Chinese carrier as “the largest airline in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets”.
The move follows a message from Qatar Airways group chief executive at the 2018 IATA Wings of Change conference on the importance of airlines capitalising on emerging markets (BTN 19 November 2018).
On the new acquisition, Al Baker said last week: “Given the complementary strengths and resources of each of China Southern 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' other holdings include a 10% investment in the South American consortium Latam Airlines Group and a 9.99% stake in Cathay Pacific.
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