Qatar Airways’ plan to invest in American Airlines seen as a bid to undercut criticism
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Qatar Airways, the national airline of that embattled Persian Gulf nation, plans to invest about $808 million in American Airlines. This is an unsolicited investment — a purchase of voting shares on the open market. This comes as U.S. airlines, including American, have criticized Qatar Airways and two carriers based in the United Arab Emirates about alleged unfair competition. They say the Persian Gulf governments subsidize ticket prices and service, undercutting U.S. carriers on routes to the Middle East, Africa and the Far East. Qatar may also have a geopolitical goal in mind. The country is in a bitter fight with Saudi Arabia and its gulf neighbors that have accused Qatar of supporting terrorist organizations in the region. In the past, Qatar has made big investments in the American economy to try to insulate itself from criticism and pursue better diplomatic relations with the U.S.
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