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Qatar Airways, one of the Middle East’s biggest carriers, said Sunday that previous sole shareholder Alisarda will keep a 51 percent share in the company. Meridiana was set up in the early 1960s by the Aga Khan, a business mogul and the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims.
Qatar Airways already has a strong presence in Italy, with more than 40 flights a week from its base in Doha. The airline has a fleet of 200 aircraft, while Meridiana says it has 16.
Italy’s largest carrier remains Alitalia, which is partly owned by Qatar Airways’ regional competitor Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi.