Qatar Airways hikes stake in BA owner IAG to 25.1%

Qatar Airways Group has revealed it now owns more than a quarter of shares in British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) after upping its stake.

Qatar Airways increased its holding in IAG to 25.1% from 21.4% as it cheered its “highly successful” investment in the airlines group, which also owns carriers including Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Iberia in Spain.

It spent £465 million on the extra shares, based on IAG’s closing price on Tuesday.

Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, said: “Our investment to date has been highly successful and the announced increase in our shareholding is evidence of our continued support of IAG and its strategy.

“Qatar Airways continues to consider opportunities to invest in airlines and support management teams that share our vision to enhance travel opportunities for airline passengers across the globe.”

Qatar Airways first invested in IAG in 2015, when it bought a 10% stake.

The Gulf state company also has holdings in China Southern and Cathay Pacific airlines and announced earlier this month it had agreed to buy a 49% stake in Africa’s RwandAir, while it is in talks to double its stake in Chile’s LATAM Airlines Group to 20%.

It snapped up some of the airline investments in response to a move by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to ban it from their airspace following a regional political dispute.

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