Qatar Airways Shows Interest In Lufthansa Stake

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, Lufthansa, Investment
Qatar Airways has indicated that it would be interested in investing in Lufthansa. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

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”.

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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.

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Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Investment
Qatar Airways has investments in a number of airlines. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

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”

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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.

Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Investment
It would seem that Lufthansa isn’t super keen with any potential Qatar Airways potential investment. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

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!

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Phil

Does that mean it could leave Star Alliance? Europe would become a Oneworld Mecca! Finnair, the IAG group and Lufthansa?

Remy

Qatar Airways would only get a minority share. In the articles of association of Lufthansa I read that the company must remain majority owned by German shareholders.

Farhan Nazar

That’s probably the bluntes statement an airline spokesperson has ever said to a reporter like you guys.

Lol

Haydon

I wonder if they are eyeing a stake in SAA 🤔

Ahmed

who knows? not a bad business proposition

Gerry S

That’s funny!

Gerry S

Lufthansa should absolutely NOT accept investment from Qatar. Now is a time when successful flag carrier airlines such as Germany’s should protect their product, especially when they are making money. If they do accept, that’s a bad move. Does the gains outweigh the loss. I don’t think so.

IanFromHKG

Lufthansa is a publicly traded company – they can’t prevent ANYONE from buying their publicly floated shares. If QR buy shares in the open market, there is absolutely bugger all LH can do about it except lodge a claim that it is an anti-competitive acquisition – but since QR isn’t based in Europe and competes with the Lufthansa group on a correspondingly limited basis, that doesn’t seem like a winner to me.