Qatar Airways' interest in buying a stake in American Airlines Group did not get a warm reception. It's unclear exactly what prompted the carrier to drop its plan, but the tension between major airlines in the U.S. and those in the Persian Gulf is likely to continue.
Qatar Airways Ltd. said it wouldn’t proceed with a planned investment in American Airlines Group Inc., following weeks of opposition by the U.S. carrier.
“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,” the Doha-based carrier said in an emailed statement Wednesday without elaborating. “Qatar Airways will continue to investigate alternative investment opportunities in the United States of America and elsewhere that do meet our objectives.”
The decision marks a victory for American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker, who called the proposed stake purchase “puzzling at best and concerning at worst.’’
American, Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. have been lobbying the Trump administration to examine whether $50 billion in alleged government subsidies have enabled Qatar Air and two other Persian Gulf carriers to compete unfairly on routes to the U.S.
American fell 1.6 percent to $50.24 at 11:31 a.m. in New York. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company didn’t immediately comment on Qatar Air’s decision.
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Photo credit: Qatar Airways will no longer try to buy a piece of American Airlines, the carrier said Wednesday. A Qatar Airways plane is pictured. Simon Dawson / Bloomberg