Qatar Airways takes $662m stake in Cathay Pacific

Qatar Airways takes $662m stake in Cathay Pacific

Qatar Airways has entered into an agreement to purchase an amount of 378,188,000 shares of Cathay Pacific Airways, being approximately 9.61 per cent of the total issued share capital.

Completion of the transaction is expected to take place later today in Hong Kong.

Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is very pleased to complete its financial investment in Cathay Pacific.

“Cathay Pacific is a fellow oneworld member and is one of the strongest airlines in the world, respected throughout the industry and with massive potential for the future.”

This investment further supports Qatar Airways investment strategy which already includes a 20 per cent investment in International Airlines Group, a ten per cent investment in LATAM Airlines Group and a 49 per cent investment in Meridiana.”

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The deal – valued at HK$5.16bn ($662m; £506m) - will make the Qatar Airways the third largest shareholder in Cathay Pacific.

It is the first known investment by a Middle Eastern airline into an east Asian carrier.

Qatar Airways hopes the deal will offer it exposure to the fast-growing Chinese aviation market.

Last month, the International Air Transport Association brought forward its forecast for when China would overtake the US as the largest aviation market in the world by two years.

US carriers American Airlines and Delta have also tried to tap into the fast-growing market.

In March, American Airlines paid $200 million for a near three per cent stake in China Southern Airlines.

China Southern is the largest of the three major state-owned carriers in the country.

Delta spent $450 million for a 3.6 per cent stake in China Eastern Airlines two years ago.