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Thu 10 Nov 2016 02:32 PM

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Qatar Airways said to be eyeing two more acquisitions in 2017

State-owned airline claims two projects in pipeline beyond Meridiana Fly

Qatar Airways said to be eyeing two more acquisitions in 2017
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Qatar Airways plans to make two further acquisitions in 2017 aside from its planned investment in Italian airline Meridiana Fly, its CEO has reportedly revealed.

Akbar Al Baker was quoted as telling the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) that his company expects to make two acquisition announcements in the near future, but insisted it “is not going to collect crap”.

“[Qatar Airways] will be making some more acquisitions,” he said. “We will be making some interesting announcements soon...We have two other projects in the pipeline which you will get to know.”

He declined to provide further information. Qatar Airways said last month that it hopes to conclude lengthy negotiations to purchase a 49 percent stake in Sardinia-based airline Meridiana Fly by January.

As Qatar Airways prepares to turn 20 in 2017, Al Baker said strategic partnerships without equity are also important.

He told CAPA that he hoped American Airlines would cease its partnership with Etihad Airways and work solely with Qatar Airways, even forging a multilateral joint venture anchored around American Airlines, British Airways and Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways and BA last month expanded their codeshare agreement with the launch of BA’s non-stop service between London and Doha.

The agreement now covers all of BA’s flights within the UK, including Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle.

Qatar Airways owns just over 20 percent of IAG - the holding company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

Al Baker also told CAPA that the airline would expand to have 250 aircraft with the next two and a half years.

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