Stat-owned air carrier and one of the major investors in the global commercial aviation industry, Qatar Airways said it will not require any form of state bailout to remain a buoyant going concern.
Qatar Airways which owns major stakes in LATAM Airlines and airline group, IAG, said the company would support its investments like IAG or the now-bankrupt LATAM airlines, if the need arises, according to the company’s CEO.
Specifically, the biggest question mark was LATAM Airlines, a South American airline group that has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States. Despite the current pandemic and troubled situation of LATAM, Qatar Airways is now the second shareholder of the company to reiterate its support for the Chile-based airline.
“LATAM has filed for Chapter 11, and as the court decides, we will be there to support the company,” stated Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways in an interview with local media on June 8, 2020. The Qatari carrier joined Delta Air Lines in the continued support of their agreements and investments in LATAM.
Al Baker noted that the airline’s investments are only for the long term, as the decision to invest in three major airline groups was purely a strategic move.
“We will continue to assist them if they require our assistance.”
The chief executive also mentioned that Qatar Airways will continue to support International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and other subsidiary airlines that operate above Europe.
Al Baker indicated that the carrier has not asked for any government assistance, because the airline has plenty of liquidity in terms of reserves and it has used its credit line facilities to further bolster its liquidity. However, the arrival of new aircraft into Qatar Airways’ fleet might be put on hold as the executive is negotiating deferring aircraft deliveries with Airbus and Boeing.
However, if the pandemic and the government-imposed travel restrictions continue, Qatar Airways plans to contact its owner, the Qatari state for “an equity injection,” said Al Baker.
“We are not asking for subsidy or aid, we are asking for equity,” indicated the executive. Despite its relative well-being as indicated by the CEO, the airline had to trim its costs, including a “substantial” cut of jobs within the airline, announced in May 2020.