When it comes his relationship with oneworld, Qatar Airways’ Chief Akbar Al-Baker acts like a victim. He’s quick to cry foul and threaten to leave, but never follows through on his threat. And yet his charges are largely delusional and his latest threat to break away is again easy dismissible.
Qatar Airways Targets A Lufthansa Investment
Qatar Airways is interested in an investment in Lufthansa. Speaking in Germany, Al-Baker, who is never one to hold his tongue, was quick to express interest in a Lufthansa stake:
“If there is an opportunity to invest in Lufthansa, we would like to do it.
Germany is a very important country for us, both in terms of air transport services and in terms of development of tourism.”
German law requires the majority of shareholders to be German, but would not preclude Qatar Airways from acquiring a stake in Lufthansa.
Al-Baker: I’d Leave oneworld For Lufthansa
When asked about the conflict between Qatar Airways’ oneworld membership and Lufthansa’s status as a founding member of Star Alliance, Al-Baker quickly answered:
“We have said several time that we will leave oneworld.”
That’s Al-Baker’s standard answer: threaten to leave oneworld without even giving it a second thought.
Lufthansa Not Interested In Qatar Airways Investment
Unsurprisingly, Lufthansa was not amused by the overture. A spokesperson said:
“We did not have Lufthansa privatized in Germany to have it nationalized in Qatar.”
Don’t hold your breath waiting for this partnership. At the same time, I do think Qatar Airways would gladly drop its oneworld membership to partner with Lufthasna. Since that won’t happen, though, I would expect Qatar to keep complaining about oneworld while remaining a part of it.
image: Aero Icarus / Flickr