Qatar Airways has increased its shareholding in two major international airlines despite the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit global aviation hard.
During the year under review, the national airline also participated in the restructuring plan of a major South American carrier.
Despite the “unprecedented” challenges, 2020/21 saw Qatar Airways stand in support of its industry peers by increasing its shareholding in International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) and Cathay Pacific Airways as well as participating in the restructuring plan of LATAM Airlines Group, Qatar Airways said in its ‘Annual Report 2021’.
In July 2020, IAG announced its proposal to undertake a capital increase of €2.7bn by the issuance of right shares.
Qatar Airways subscribed for 25.1% in proportion to its shareholding in the company, providing much-needed support to IAG during the most difficult times in the history of aviation.
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, raised $1.5bn from its shareholders, with Qatar Airways contributing by subscribing for shares in proportion to its shareholding of 9.99%.
In May 2020, LATAM Airlines Group initiated a voluntary reorganisation and restructuring of debt, under Chapter 11 protection in the United States, and Qatar Airways – one of its largest shareholders – supported the South American carrier by providing a cash injection of $250mn.
Qatar Airways was named as the “largest international carrier in the world” between April and July 2020, by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), with the airline accounting for 17.8% of global international passenger traffic in April 2020.
Whilst carriers across the globe struggled to survive the most critically adverse market conditions in the history of commercial aviation, the national airline continued to focus on building passenger confidence in the safety of air travel, by providing a “safe, secure and hygienic environment” for travellers in line with the highest standards.
The airline continued to introduce and invest in the “most advanced, stringent and robust safety and hygiene” measures existing within the global aviation community, earning prestigious accolades such as becoming the first global airline in the world to achieve the 5-Star Covid-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax.