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Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy is fully compliant with U.S.-Qatar open skies

Posted 11 April 2019 · Add Comment

Qatar Airways’ has released a statement regarding recent ‘false’ reports of it shareholding in Air Italy.

 

The airline said: “Following recent false accusations relating to Qatar Airways’ shareholding in Air Italy, such baseless statements and consistent inaccuracies need addressing as a matter of urgency.

“Qatar Airways holds a 49 per cent stake in Air Italy’s parent company, AQA. This minority investment is at the same level that Delta holds in both Virgin Atlantic and Aeromexico, and that Etihad held in Alitalia.

“Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy, and operations to the United States, are fully compliant with the U.S.-Qatar Open Skies Agreement, the January 2018 U.S.-Qatar Understandings, and a side letter that accompanied the discussions. 

“Unfounded claims that Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy violates the Understandings are entirely false.

“As a factual matter, the investment preceded the January 2018 U.S.-Qatar Understandings.” 

The investment was announced in a July 2016 press release and was approved in writing by the European Commission (DG Competition) in March 2017

The transaction was closed in September 2017

The discussions surrounding the Understandings took place in December 2017 and January 2018

The airline added: “Qatar Airways’ investment in Air Italy was a matter of public knowledge (as were Qatar Airways’ investments in other airlines) at the time of the U.S.-Qatar discussions; airline investments were not raised as a point of concern during those talks. The Understandings do not mention or prohibit cross-border investments of any type. 

“Furthermore, Qatar Airways does not codeshare on any of Air Italy’s flights to the United States, and has no plans to do so. Qatar Airways is not operating any Fifth Freedom scheduled air services to the U.S.”

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