Qatar Airways buys 10% of IAG, owner of British Airways and Iberia
The Gulf airline is a member of the Oneworld Alliance. Willie Walsh, IAG's chief executive, said he was delighted Qatar had become a "long-term supportive shareholder".
The stake, worth about £1.15bn, gives Qatar closer links with a group that has two major European hubs and strong transatlantic networks. Mr. Walsh said his company would explore what FAO food priceopportunities exist to work more closely together and further IAG's ambitions as the leading global airline group".
Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar, said: FAO food priceIAG represents an excellent opportunity to further develop our westwards strategy."
The two groups' route networks are largely complementary, with Qatar strong in southeast Asia, India and the Middle East, while Iberia flies to many destinations in South America.
Qatar said it could increase its holding, but would be limited by the 49% cap on non-EU ownership of European airlines. Neither group said whether IAG had been aware of Qatar's stake-building and did not say who the shares had been bought from, or when. ■