Qatar Airways plans to create a mega-carrier

Qatar Airways wants to create a virtual mega-carrier that will benefit from economies of scale in negotiations on fuel and aircraft purchases, while it boosts investment in other airlines, its CE - Al Baker said on Tuesday.

The Qatari carrier announced a $661m deal on Monday to buy a 9.61% stake in Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways to broaden its reach and potentially allow the oneworld alliance member to increase traffic through its Doha hub.

Qatar Airways has been unable to fly to the previously lucrative markets of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia because of an airspace rights dispute, prompting the carrier to invest elsewhere.

Al Baker said the airline expects to report a loss in the financial year to March 31 2018, as a result of the blockade.

The airline has acquired 20% of British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group, 10% of South America's Latam Airlines Group and 49% of Italy's Meridiana.

Al Baker said that Qatar Airways wants shareholdings to be exchanged between itself and its portfolio airlines as it seeks to become a virtual mega-carrier.

"It remains to be seen what influence you can exert as a minority shareholder," he said during a panel discussion at the conference.

Courtesy: Business Live

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