Qatar Airways Named Best Airline in the World


American Airlines (AAL) on Thursday said it received a notice from Qatar Airways about its intent to make an $808 million investment, or 10% stake, in the US company.

It appears American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) doesn't think much of Qatar Airways' intent to invest in the carrier.

American Airlines has received an offer for a 10% stake in the company from Qatar Airways, a regulatory filing revealed on Thursday.

American and other airlines, including Delta and United, have accused state-run Qatar Airways - along with United Arab Emirates airlines Emirates and Etihad - of getting unfair financial backing from their respective governments.

The U.S. airlines accuse Qatar, Emirates and Etihad Airways of receiving massive subsidies from the governments that own them, in violation of so-called open-skies aviation treaties. The company's certificate of incorporation "prohibits anyone from acquiring 4.75% or more of the company's outstanding stock without advance approval from the board following a written request", American pointed out.

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Per the US' foreign ownership laws, Qatar Airways would ultimately be capped at owning 24.9% of any airline in the country.

The outreach drew a frosty response from the U.S. carrier, which said the intended purchase "was not solicited by American Airlines and would in no way change the Company's Board composition, governance, management or strategic direction".

At time of publication, American Airlines was trading up 5.5 percent to $50.90.

Earlier this month, Qatar Airways announced profits of $540 million in the fiscal year, which ended in March.

Other winners include AirAsia for best low-priced airline in the world and Etihad for best first-class in the world.

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Qsuite, patented by Qatar Airways, features the industry's first-ever double bed available in Business Class, with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room.

The award comes as the Doha-based airline struggles to deal with an attempt by Qatar's neighbors to isolate the country.

"Qatar Airways sees a strong investment opportunity in American Airlines", it said.

American Airlines declined comment and it was not clear how American's board or management would respond to Qatar's potential investment. The two airline CEOs have spoken, American said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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