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Thanks but no thanks as Qatar drops US proposal

August 4, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

After a hostile reception, Qatar Airways says it has now decided not to proceed with its proposed financial investment in American Airlines – a move which seemed very strange from the outset.

A statement issued Qatar Airways yesterday stated:

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.” 

The Qatar Airways move seemed very unusual for the inception, as there is considerable animosity between American and Gulf carriers, particularly Qatar Airways.

Earlier this month, American announced it was cancelling code-share agreements with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways because it alleges they are receiving government subsidies. Both airlines strongly deny they are subsidised.

American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker told CNBC last week that American would do “everything we can” to stop Qatar and other Gulf airlines from entering US market.

Parker’s comments followed the recent furore over “sexist and ageist” comments by Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker.

Al Baker quipped at a Dublin event that the average age of his cabin crew is 26 and that “you are always being served by grandmothers” on American airlines. See: Qatar chief says ‘crap’ US airlines hire grannies as crew

The barb struck a nerve and made American furious – especially as the US carrier couldn’t work out whether Al Baker meant American airlines generally or American Airlines specfically.

Written by Peter Needham

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