Qatar Airways expects to sign a deal for a 33% stake in European all-cargo airline Cargolux in a few weeks, its Chief Executive said.
Cargolux, Europe's largest all-cargo airline, has previously said it was in talks to sell stake to a strategic investor.
“We are soon going to sign an agreement with them (Cargolux) ... in a few weeks. We see there are synergies, and Qatar Airways would like to expand,” Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker told reporters in Dubai. He did not give a value for the deal.
Qatar Airways, half-owned by the state's sovereign wealth Qatar Investment Authority, will continue to look for other deals in the future, Al Baker added.
'We will only be interested in other airlines if they are healthy, well established and will add value to Qatar Airways,” he said.
Al Baker was quoted last month as saying the airline was on the lookout for acquisitions this year.
Qatar Airways, which is facing delays for the Boeing 787, said it had specific delivery dates from the plane maker, adding it now expects to take delivery earlier than indicated.
A year ago, it increased its orders from 2 to 6 and said it expects to take delivery by September 2011.
The airline said in December it is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in early 2012 after 3 consecutive years of profit. Qatar Airways will list the planned IPO in Qatar and abroad, and a London listing was one of the options, Al Baker said.
The airline expects its fleet size to reach 120 aircraft by 2011 and sees net profit for its financial year 2010-2011 at $250 million, compared with $205 million for the year-ago period.