Qatar Airways Buys 9.99% Stake in IAG
The Doha-based airline Qatar Airways has bought a 9.99% stake in International Airlines Group (IAG). This comes just days after the group made a third bid for Aer Lingus.
Both IAG and Qatar Airways have a close relationship already as part of the Oneworld Alliance, and IAG says it welcomes Qatar Airways’ statement that it would look to strengthen existing commercial ties, Newstalk reported.
Commenting on the share acquisition, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “We’re delighted to have Qatar Airways, one of the world’s premier airlines, as a long term supportive shareholder.”
“We will talk to them about what opportunities exist to work more closely together and further IAG’s ambitions as the leading global airline group”.
Qatar Airways has said it may consider increasing its stake further over time.
Aer Lingus confirmed earlier this week that it had received the revised takeover bid from IAG, which valued each Aer Lingus share at €2.55 - or €1.3b ($1.48b) overall. The government is to seek a meeting with IAG in relation to its bid.
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said no decision has been made about the future of Aer Lingus. But unions have claimed that up to 1,200 jobs could be lost if the airline is sold to IAG.
The IMPACT trade union has warned the Oireachtas Transport Committee that IAG has a history of cutting jobs after takeovers.
The committee held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the potential impact of the airline being sold.