Owned Qatar Airways seeks 10 pct stake in American

State-owned Qatar Airways is attempting to buy 10 percent of American Airlines, a surprising move that would trigger an antitrust review by the US government and carry political and trade-policy implications.

"It also does not alter American Airlines' conviction on the need to enforce the Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the nation of Qatar and ensure fair competition with Gulf carriers, including Qatar Airways", American said in a statement via CNBC.

The Doha-based carrier intends to invest at least US$808 million in American, the USA carrier said Thursday in a regulatory filing. USA laws limit foreign ownership to 24.9 percent. Qatar Airways said it would not exceed this level without board approval and would "make all necessary regulatory filings".

Qatar Airways, meanwhile, has submitted a filing under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, as is required for a purchase of more than $81 million in American's common stock.

Barclays PLC restated their equal weight rating on shares of American Airlines Group, Inc.

Parker said in his letter that American Airlines "will not be discouraged or dissuaded from our full court press in Washington, D.C., to stand up to companies that are illegally subsidized by their governments".

The news comes after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE cut ties with Qatar over alleged support for extremist groups, something the Qatari government denies.

Shares of American jumped 3.3% to 50.05 in morning trade on the stock market today.




It appears American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) doesn't think much of Qatar Airways' intent to invest in the carrier.

This follows an announcement on Tuesday, which revealed that Qatar Airways had been awarded the World's Best Airline in 2017 at the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards. But the USA airline hasn't changed its stance on the subsidies dispute. "The U.S. market is strategically important to Qatar Airways and this would strengthen their ability to feed at the U.S. end", independent aviation consultant John Strickland told Reuters.

Both Qatar Airways and American Airlines are members of the group - which promotes coordination among its members to ease travel pains for worldwide fliers.

Akbar al-Baker, the airline's outspoken chief executive, used the occasion to blast Qatar's regional rivals.

Also, the three Middle East airlines are cutting into lucrative routes overseas for US airlines. "The Trump administration has also held the position of America first". It has obtained stakes in International Consolidated Airlines Group, Meridiana and LATAM Airlines Group SA (ADR) (NYSE:LTM) over the last few years. It owns just over 20 percent of IAG, which also controls European carriers Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling.

The CEO ended the letter, attempting to reassure investors and employees by explaining that even if Qatar does decide to invest, the latter's investment will not be enough to influence American's management or strategy.

Shell Asset Management Co. maintained its stake in American Airlines Group, Inc.

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