Qatar Airways buys 5% stake in Chinese carrier in a new push into Asian markets

By QLNews

Qatar Airways, in an attempt to further expand its Asian markets, has bought a 5% stake in the China Southern Airlines.

The move came as a part of the Qatari national carrier’s long-term strategy to invest in some of the world’s most reliable airlines, reported Gulf Times.

“As part of our strategy to invest in the strongest airlines around the world and continue enhancing operations and network connectivity, Qatar Airways completed an on-market purchase of certain ‘A’ shares and ‘H’ shares of China Southern Airlines on December 28,” the airline said in a statement.

“It has resulted in Qatar Airways having an aggregate holding of approximately 5% of the total issued share capital of China Southern Airlines,” it added.

“Qatar Airways regards our shareholding in China Southern Airlines as an important part of our strategic investment in the largest airline in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets,” Qatar’s Minister of Finance and Chairman of Qatar Airways Group HE Ali Shareef Al Emadi was quoted as saying by The Peninsula.

Qatar Airways' Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker added:

“China Southern Airlines is one of the country’s most prestigious domestic airlines and an important market player in the world. We have massive potential for cooperation in the future. Given the complementary strengths and resources of both companies, there’re opportunities for us to work together and build a long-term relationship in ways that would bring benefits to customers of both airlines,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

“We look forward to the opportunity to deepen our working relationship with this great airline and further enhance the travel opportunities across the globe,” he added.

Qatar Airways already has a 20% investment in International Airlines Group, 10% in LATAM Airlines Group, 49% in Air Italy and 9.99% in Cathay Pacific.

Meanwhile, China Southern said in a statement that Qatar Airways might consider increasing its stake in the airline in the next 12 months, according to Qatar Tribune.

Qatar Airways is the second foreign carrier that has a stake in China Southern, after American Airlines. The Chinese carrier left the Skyteam airline alliance at the start of the year.

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