Tue, 24 January 2012 08:42
Qatar Airways is eyeing more investment in Europe and has identified an acquisition target, the Gulf carrier's Chief Executive said, while declining to comment about Spanish airline Spanair.
There has been speculation Qatar Airways may be after a stake in Spanair whose Scandinavian partners said in November it was in talks with a possible industry partner.
“I cannot talk about that,” said Akbar Ali Baker, when asked about Spanair at last week’s Bahrain Air Show.
“We need to look at every business opportunity we get ... we have a strategy going forward. I want to make sure that Qatar Airways grows in a much sustained environment,” he added.
Gulf carriers, backed by sovereign funds from the states, have been eyeing investment in Europe where cash-strapped companies have been looking for external funds.
Qatar Airways bought a 35% stake in freight carrier Cargolux Airlines International last year. Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi's flagship carrier, raised its stake in Air Berlin to nearly 30% from just under 3% in December, paying 73 million Euros ($94 million) and lending the carrier $255 million.