Qatar Airways will drop its bid to acquire a stake in American Airlines, saying on Wednesday that its plan to buy as much as 10% in the USA’s biggest airline “no longer meets our objectives.”
The Doha-based airline revealed its change of plans in a statement released Wednesday morning.
“Qatar Airways has taken the decision not to proceed with its proposed passive financial investment in American Airlines,” Qatar Airways said in a statement e-mailed to USA TODAY.
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“Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives. Qatar Airways will continue to investigate alternative investment opportunities in the United States of America and elsewhere that do meet our objectives,” the carrier added.
“We respect Qatar Airways’ decision not to proceed with its proposed investment in American Airlines. This in no way changes the course for American. Our 120,000 team members remain energized and focused on taking care of those who entrust us with their travel needs. We couldn’t be more excited to keep our focus on that mission.”
A spokeswoman for the public relations firm representing the airline in the United States said there would be no elaboration on exactly what Qatar Airways was referencing as “the latest public disclosure of American Airlines.”
But it comes as American CEO Doug Parker has consistently and publicly spoken out against Qatar Airways’ efforts to buy a stake in his company, labeling it a “puzzling” decision.
American, Delta and United also have jointly alleged that Qatar Airways — along with fellow Persian Gulf airlines Etihad and Emirates — receive unfair subsidies. Using that as a rallying cry, the U.S. carriers have been lobbying the U.S. government to restrict their rivals’ flight rights to the United States. All three of the Gulf carriers have vigorously denied the allegations of unfair subsidies.
“(We) aren’t particularly excited about Qatar’s outreach, and we find it puzzling given our extremely…