Speaking with Reuters last week, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said that “When the right opportunity comes, and at the right price, we will look at increasing our investment in LATAM” to the same stake Delta has, or 20% ownership. Delta Airlines paid $1.9 billion USD for its stake in the Chilean carrier last year, snatching it from the One World alliance with American Airlines, and increasing Delta’s presence in Latin America.
“We are very tough negotiators. We will take our time to negotiate” al-Baker told reporters.
Qatar Airways Q.C.S.C. is also seeking to buy African carrier RwandAir and is the majority investor in a new airport in Rwanda. Qatar has a tense relationship with its neighbors in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Those two countries have blocked Qatar Airways from their airspace, complicating the airline’s routes.