Lufthansa: German airline not open to Qatar investment

Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1575281459279413200
Mon, 2019-12-02 09:55

FRANKFURT: Lufthansa responded coldly on Monday to a report that
rival Qatar Airways was interested in taking a stake in or
collaborating with the German airline.
The Gulf carrier, which holds minority stakes in airlines including
IAG, Cathay Pacific, and China Southern Airlines, has been seeking
to boost collaborations.
Its chief executive Akbar Al-Baker was quoted by German news agency
dpa on Sunday as saying he was interested in investing in Lufthansa
to seize business opportunities in Europe’s biggest economy.
“We did not have Lufthansa privatized in Germany to have it
nationalized in Qatar,” a Lufthansa spokesman said.
Initially, Qatar Airways would also look into a partnership with
Lufthansa to ramp up air transport services and tourism in Germany,
Al-Baker told dpa in Doha on the sidelines of a visit of the
premier of regional state Lower Saxony to Qatar.
State-owned Qatar Airways declined to comment.
Lufthansa needs to limit ownership by shareholders from
non-European Union member states to 49 percent to preserve its
aviation licenses.
Its CEO Carsten Spohr has repeatedly criticized Gulf rivals such as
Qatar, Emirates and Etihad Airways of receiving what he describes
as unfair state subsidies.
Dpa also quoted the Qatar Airways CEO as saying the carrier’s
membership of the Oneworld airline alliance would not stand in the
way of a pact with Lufthansa, which is part of rival Star
Alliance.
“We have said several time that we will leave OneWorld,” he
told dpa.
Al-Baker said in October that while considering a withdrawal a
final decision had not been made.
He also said then his airline would consider lifting its 10 percent
stake in Chilean carrier LATAM Airlines Group SA if the opportunity
came up.
Last month Qatar signed a codeshare agreement with top Indian
airline IndiGo, winning more access to the fast-growing Indian
market.

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Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Lufthansa: German airline not open to Qatar investment