Economy

Qatar Airways buys 9.6% of Cathay Pacific

Qatar Airways buys 9.6% of Cathay Pacific

Qatar Airways has broadened its global reach by purchasing a 9.61 per cent stake in Cathay Pacific, adding another strategic investor to the Hong Kong carrier's complicated share register at a time when it is looking to cut costs.

Qatar Airways on Monday has bought a stake in Cathay Pacific, giving the Doha-based airline a toehold in the potentially lucrative Asian aviation market.

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar al Baker said in a company statement that Cathay was "one of the strongest airlines in the world", adding it had "massive potential".

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Qatar Airways has been trying to compensate for this lost traffic and revenue by increasingly looking at worldwide markets to expand its reach.

Qatar is purchasing its 378,000 Cathay shares from Hong Kong-based Kingboard Chemicals Holdings Limited. Cathay also has cross-shareholdings with mainland carrier Air China, which owns just under 30 percent.

Cathay Chief Executive Rupert Hogg said the two carriers already worked closely together and "we look forward to a continued constructive relationship".

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Qatar Airways' investment strategy has seen it acquire 20 per cent of British Airways-parent International Consolidated Airlines Group, 10 per cent of South America's Latam Airlines Group and 49 per cent of Italy's Meridiana.

Both Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways collaborate together as members of the Oneworld alliance.

Doha-based Qatar Airways has taken a 6.9% stake in Cathay Pacific. Cathay is 45 percent owned by Hong Kong conglomerate Swire Pacific.

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Cathay, and others, have battled the rapid worldwide expansion of Chinese airlines and the ongoing rise of Middle East carriers offering long-haul to long-haul connections through their hubs, which have bitten into previously lucrative markets.