The agreement, which Doha-based Qatar said it expects to complete Nov. 6, means the Gulf carrier will hold a 9.6% stake in Cathay at a value of about $600 million.
Cathay and Qatar are both members of the oneworld global alliance.
Qatar Airways already has a 20% stake in International Airlines Group, parent of British Airways, another oneworld member, as well as a 10% stake in Santiago-based LATAM Airlines Group, and a 49% investment in Italy's Meridiana.
Qatar backed off from a move in June to take a 10% stake in American Airlines, also in oneworld, after American chairman and CEO Doug Parker sharply rebuked the bid as “puzzling at best; concerning at worst.” Dallas/Fort Worth-based American is campaigning with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Chicago-based United Airlines to constrain growth of the major Gulf carriers—Qatar, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways—over claims that they are heavily subsidized by their government owners.
Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a statement Monday that Cathay was “one of the strongest airlines in the world, respected throughout the industry and with massive potential for the future.”
Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg said in a statement that the two airlines already work closely together as oneworld members "and we look forward to a continued constructive relationship."
In August, Cathay posted a net loss of HKD2.1 billion ($268.2 million) for the first half of 2017, a reversal from a HKD353 million net profit in the same period last year. Cathay faces increasing competition in many of its markets, particularly from mainland China’s major airlines. Cathay’s major shareholders are Swire Pacific, which holds 35%, and Air China, which holds almost 30%.
(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)