The Middle Eastern airline purchased shares amounting to about 9.6 percent ownership in Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways.
This move signifies Qatar’s confidence in Cathay Pacific’s ability to bounce back from its recent financial struggles, predicted to be the result of increasing competition from Middle Eastern airlines, as well as mainland Chinese and low-cost carriers.
In 2016, the Hong Kong airline lost US$73.6 million in its annual revenue, followed by a US$262 million loss in the first half of the year. As such, the airline laid off hundreds of workers in a bid to rebound from its losses.
To better compete with the Gulf carriers, Cathay Pacific has been ramping up its partnerships. Most notably, it added codeshare and frequent-flyer collaborations with Star Alliance member Lufthansa in April this year.
Speaking of the sale, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “Cathay Pacific is a fellow Oneworld member and is one of the strongest airlines in the world, respected throughout the industry and with massive potential for the future.”
In another statement, Cathay Pacific’s CEO, Rupert Hogg, said, “We already work together closely as fellow members of the Oneworld alliance and we look forward to a continued constructive relationship.”