Qatar Airways backs away from American investment


Qatar Airways has taken the decision not to proceed with its proposed passive financial investment in American Airlines.

State-owned Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker last month had reiterated plans to invest in American as the company filed for US regulatory backing to buy shares.

American did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

American Airlines (AAL) on Wednesday acknowledged Qatar Airways' announcement that it would drop a bid to purchase a minority stake in the US carrier, weeks after company CEO Doug Parker called the proposed investment "puzzling".

The move was immediately met with resentment from American who opposed any such investment. But on Wednesday, Qatar said it changed its mind after a review of the deal's finances and American's reaction.

"Previously, Parker had described Qatar's bid for a 10% stake in his company as "puzzling" in a letter to shareholders, adding that he wasn't "particularly excited" about the Qatari airline's outreach". Parker said Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker approached him about an investment during a secret meeting at an airline-industry conference in a Mexican resort city.

Further, American said it would end codeshare agreements with the Qatar and Etihad due to the ongoing dispute.

The U.S. airline argues that Qatar Airways and two other Gulf-based carriers use illegal government subsidies to gain an unfair advantage over competitors.

"This in no way changes the course for American", the company said.

Qatar said in a statement that it would continue to look for opportunities to invest in airlines around the world to develop "the best possible travel experience for its customers".