Qatar Airways plans to dole out $808 million to buy a 10% stake in American Airlines, making the state-owned airline one of American’s largest shareholders, Bloomberg reports.
It’s an interesting strategy for the Doha-based airline, which has been suspending flights to Middle Eastern neighbors as tensions in the region grow. American has accused Middle Eastern carriers of unfair competition in international air travel. It argues that state subsidies allow the carriers to offer lower ticket prices on international flights. According to Bloomberg, American said the proposed investment doesn’t change its stance on the issue and hopes the U.S. government will protect the U.S. aviation industry against what it sees as shady practices. Qatar Airways’ move is also interesting in the wake of the Trump administration’s seeming indecisiveness on Qatar, having both accused Qatar of harboring and funding terrorists, and then selling it $12 billion in fighter jets, and then accusing Middle Eastern nations of being unfair to Qatar for failing to justify their embargo on the nation.