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Owned Qatar Airways seeks 10 pct stake in American

25 June 2017

"It also does not alter American Airlines' conviction on the need to enforce the Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the nation of Qatar and ensure fair competition with Gulf carriers", American said.

Qatar Airways, with which American has been at odds for sometime, said it is planning to buy an initial stake of 4.75% - the most it can own without the prior approval of American's board.

The Doha-based carrier intends to invest at least US$808 million in American, the USA carrier said Thursday in a regulatory filing.

In a regulatory filing released by American, Qatar's proposed purchase of 10% of the airline's shares equals a roughly $808 million investment.

But American, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines have been pushing US political leaders to curtail the growth of the Middle East's three biggest airlines, Qatar, Emirates and Etihad, saying that they are all government-owned, subsidized airlines that have an unfair advantage. But if Qatar Airways successfully acquires a 10% stake in American, the other Gulf carriers could make similar plays for other US carriers. CEO Doug Parker, along with the carrier's pilots and flight attendants, expressed a lack of enthusiasm for Qatar Airways' bid to buy stock in the airline. The company said Thursday that it had not yet received a formal request from Qatar Airways.

Qatar said in a statement that it hopes to continue that relationship. American's CEO told employees, "We aren't particularly excited about Qatar's outreach".

In a surprise move, Qatar has indicated it wants to take a stake of up to 10 per cent in the USA carrier with an investment of up to 4.75 per cent.

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One of the most significant events at the three-day meeting was Kim's Friday meeting with Chinese Minister of Finance Xiao Jie. This is the Bank's Second Annual Meeting, and is being jointly hosted by the Bank and the Republic of Korea.

"Qatar Airways sees a strong investment opportunity in American Airlines", the company said in a statement.

Managing director at aviation consultancy firm Aerotask, Rob Watts, said Qatar's investment in American could serve to help block increased coordination between American and other Gulf carriers.

The US airline's Nasdaq-listed shares traded more than five per cent higher in pre-market trading.

Grella noted that the U.S. carriers "compete head-to-head with the U.S. Big Three airlines on exactly two overseas routes", suggested that their fears of lost jobs and revenue are overblown.

But in a letter to staff, American Airlines" chief executive said the airline was "unexcited' about the approach. Also, foreign ownership laws in the United States also limit a foreign voting interest to 24.9%.

Also, the three Middle East airlines are cutting into lucrative routes overseas for US airlines. It has obtained stakes in International Consolidated Airlines Group, Meridiana and LATAM Airlines Group SA (ADR) (NYSE:LTM) over the last few years. Weiss Asset Management LP acquired a new stake in American Airlines Group during the third quarter worth $236,000.