Qatar Airways’ CEO has revealed that the Middle Eastern carrier could up its stake South American carrier LATAM. The new comes after Delta Air Lines announced it was purchasing a 20% stake in the carrier in September. Qatar currently holds 10% of the airline.
Delta and Qatar’s relations haven’t been the best. The three big US legacy carriers have previously accused Middle East carrier of engaging in anti-competitive practices. US President Donald Trump held a meeting in July in order to address the issue. Present were the CEOs of Qatar Airways, American Airlines, and United Airlines. However, despite receiving an invitation, Delta Air Lines’ CEO didn’t attend.
Qatar could increase LATAM stake
Yesterday Simple Flying reported on Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight to Langkawi in Malaysia. What seemed like it would be a regular route launch turned out to be anything but. Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, was present. We’ver already reported his comments that Qatar could swap its Boeing 777-8 order up to an order for 10 Boeing 777-9s.
However, earlier today Reuters reported that if it got the opportunity, Qatar would consider increasing its stake in LATAM, which currently sits at 10%. Al-Baker told the publication: “We don’t dictate to LATAM how they should conduct their business. (It) is absolutely their prerogative with whom they want to have shareholding, with whom they want to work with.” They went on to report that Qatar had no forewarning of Delta’s bid to purchase a stake in LATAM.
What about oneworld?
Al Baker also commented on the oneworld alliance. This is something that he has been particularly vocal about over the past year or so. The CEO has made repeated threats to leave the alliance. These threats were made as the carrier accused fellow members of working against each other.
When questioned about Qatar’s current position with regards to the oneworld alliance, Al-Baker told Reuters: “We have not made our final decision but we are still considering withdrawing. We have been requested by other major players in the alliance to hold on, to see if they can repair the impasse that we have between us and American Airlines.”
LATAM, the South American carrier, is currently a fellow member of the oneworld alliance along with Qatar Airways. However, following Delta Air Lines’ investment announcement, LATAM announced that it would be departing from the oneworld alliance. This will leave the alliance without representation on the South American continent.
Do you think it would be wise of Qatar to increase its stake in LATAM? Do you think the opportunity will arise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!