Qatar Airways Acquires Stake in Cathay Pacific

Qatar Airways Acquires Stake in Cathay Pacific

Qatar Airways Acquires Stake in Cathay Pacific

Qatar Airways has just acquired 9.61 per cent of Hong Kong's flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, making it the third-largest shareholder in the Asian airline behind Swire Pacific Limited and Air China Limited, which together hold 74.99 per cent of the company's shares.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said the airline was pleased to have bought a stake in Cathay Pacific.

Cathay shares fell 1.5 per cent on Monday, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index finish almost unchanged.

The investment adds to Qatar Airways' overseas portfolio.

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In May, Cathay announced plans to cut around 600 jobs to "improve the speed and quality of decision-making and putting a greater focus on its customers" as a response to increased competition from Asia's low-priced carrier market. Qatar, meanwhile, continues to suffer from a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain that has forced it to cease flights to those countries and to fly around those nations' air space. "We already work together closely as fellow members of the Oneworld alliance, and we look forward to a continued constructive relationship", said Rupert Hogg, chief executive officer, Cathay Pacific.

The troubled Hong Kong carrier in August reported a massive net loss of $262 million (HK$2.05 billion) for the first half of 2017 as it struggled with intense competition from rivals. Qatar owns slightly more than 20% of IAG, the parent of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Level; 10% of South America's LATAM Airlines Group; and 49% of Italian carrier Meridiana.

Doha-based Qatar Airways has taken a 6.9% stake in Cathay Pacific.

However, Cathay discontinued its Doha service less than two years later, saying at the time it was for "commercial reasons".

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