The game of courtship Qatar Airways had planned for American Airlines has met its demise, and before any real progress was even made.
Just two months after Qatar Airways expressed its desire to purchase a 10 per cent stake in American, it has now revealed it’s dropping these investment plans.
Qatar has said it was keen to buy an initial stake of up to 4.75 per cent of American’s stock, before expanding to the full 10.
In a statement obtained by Travel Weekly, a Qatar Airways spokesperson said the investment was no longer in line with the airline’s future strategies, but that it would continue to seek investments into the US.
“Qatar Airways has taken the decision not to proceed with its proposed passive financial investment in American Airlines,” they said.
“Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives.
“Qatar Airways will continue to investigate alternative investment opportunities in the United States of America and elsewhere that do meet our objectives.
“Qatar Airways will continue to seek opportunities to invest in global aviation to support the airline’s goal to offer the best possible travel experience for its customers.”
It comes after American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told CNBC last week that he would do whatever it took to keep Qatar Airways out of the US market.
Per CNBC, he said, “It’s not fair, and our job is to make sure that we point out that it’s not fair and do everything we can to stop them from being able to expand into our markets and take away American jobs”.
American Airlines also just recently canned its codeshare agreement with Qatar, over the long-debated issue of government subsidies.
American Airlines, along with Delta and United, have long accused Qatar and fellow Gulf carriers, Etihad and Emirates, of receiving unfair government subsidies, accusations the Gulf carriers firmly deny.
Meanwhile, in response to the US Big Three airlines’ claims that the Gulf carriers bring nothing to the party in terms of economic benefits, Emirates released an infographic proving just how much the US benefits from their business.
“Sitting on record profits and with employment in US aviation at an all-time high, the three carriers know they don’t have a leg to stand on,” Emirates President Tim Clark said.
“Evidence repeatedly points to the benefits that Emirates bring to US consumers and the economy, and the total absence of alleged competitive harm.”