Qatar Airways is reportedly interested in purchasing a stake in Luftansa, should the opportunity arise. The comments were made by the airline’s CEO to DPA in Doha on Sunday.
Qatar Airways has an impressive portfolio of investments in airlines across the globe. Airlines in which the Qatari flag carrier has invested in include: Air Italy, the International Airlines Group, Cathay Pacific, LATAM, and others according to CAPA. However, it seems as though the airline could be looking to introduce another major airline to the collection.
Reports suggest that the airline has an interest in acquiring a stake in the German flag carrier Lufthansa, should the opportunity arise. Lufthansa, on the other hand, doesn’t seem super enthusiastic with Al Baker’s comments, telling Simple Flying that they didn’t want the German flag carrier to be “re-nationalized in Qatar”.
What has Al Baker said?
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, is known across the aviation industry. While there has been no news lately, around a year ago he publicly threatened to leave the oneworld alliance, of which Qatar Airways is a member.
However, now Mr Al Baker has made comments that he would be interested in purchasing a stake in Lufthansa. According to Reuters, Al Baker told DPA:
“If there is an opportunity to invest in Lufthansa, we would like to do it”
Why would Qatar invest in Lufthansa?
It’s not totally out of the blue that Qatar Airways has suggested investing in another airline. After all, the airline has a portfolio of investments in other airlines. In fact, Qatar Airways is the largest stakeholder in British Airways’ owner, IAG, holding 20.01% of shares according to the Telegraph.
Earlier this year Simple Flying reported that Qatar Airways wanted to invest in another airline in 2019. Again, the news was revealed in comments by CEO Al Baker, this time at the Aviation Africa Summit. However, while the airline wanted to make the investment in 2019, the opportunity to invest in Lufthansa does not currently exist.
What does Lufthansa think?
Simple Flying reached out to Lufthansa to see whether the German flag carrier had anything to add to Al Baker’s comments. In response, it appears as though the airline isn’t super keen on the idea. A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying:
We did not privatize Lufthansa in Germany to have it re-nationalized in Qatar.
Lufthansa was privatized in 1997, with the group now owning a number of airline brands from the low-cost Eurowings to SWISS.
Do you think Qatar should invest in Lufthansa, or do you agree with the German flag carrier’s point of view? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!