In a statement by Qatar Airways, they indicated that “Qatar Airways has made the decision not to proceed with its proposed passive financial investment in American Airlines.” They also stated “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.”
This decision was reached after American Airlines publicly stated they had no interest in the unsolicited foreign investment by Qatar Airways. The American Airlines Chairman and CEO stated that “”We aren’t particularly excited about Qatar’s outreach, and we find it puzzling given our extremely public stance on the illegal subsidies that Qatar, Emirates and Etihad have all received over the years from their governments.”
American, along with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, claim that Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have benefitted from more than $50 billion in government subsidies, which have allowed them to dump capacity in the U.S. market under the open-skies agreements. The U.S. airlines have lobbied U.S. government officials since 2015 to limit access by the Gulf carriers, however, no action has been taken to date.
Qatar Airways could have bought up to a 4.74% stake in American Airlines without its approval but would have needed board approval for anything above that.
Following the disclosure of the planned investment, American Airlines notified its Oneworld Alliance partner that it planned to end their codeshare agreement in March 2018. This codeshare decision will negatively impact the loyal American Airlines flyers by eliminating the option to reach the Middle East and Asia with only one connection thru Doha while still accumulating status qualifying miles as if it were a codeshare flight.