"For every long-haul route lost or foregone as a result of subsidized Gulf carrier competition, more than 1,500 American jobs are lost", the letter in February said.
American CEO Doug Parker is not amused. He said the move was "puzzling" given American's ongoing fight with Qatar and other Middle Eastern airlines over government subsidies, which he vowed to keep pursuing. Qatar Airways will not exceed 4.75 percent without prior consent of the American Airlines board. It recently announced plans to launch an airline in fast-growing India.
Qatar intends to purchase the stock on the open market, and American points out that foreign ownership laws limit the total percentage of foreign voting interest in its business to 24.9 percent.
American's board has yet to receive a formal notice from Qatar that it intends to buy up to 10 percent of the US airline's outstanding shares. American says it has not received such a request yet.
Amid the speculation, shares in American Airlines soared during pre-market trading.
Some have suggested Akbar Al Baker is trying to soften American's lobbying in Washington. Still, the timing of the announcement about American caught everyone off guard.
American also has had its differences with Qatar Airways, among other Middle Eastern carriers, over state subsidies the U.S. air travel industry says violate worldwide agreements.
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Parker said that Qatar's solicitation will not change American's stance on the issue. If you are accessing this piece on another publication, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of US & global copyright & trademark legislation. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have barred Qatar Airways flights.
President Donald Trump has accused Qatar, home to a massive and strategic USA military base, of funding terrorism.
Qatar is now in the midst of a diplomatic crisis after Saudi Arabia and several of its allies in the Middle East cut dies with Doha. Vetr upgraded shares of American Airlines Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $52.26 target price for the company in a report on Monday, January 30th.
Qatar was one of the airlines affected by a USA ban on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins and the small Gulf state now faces economic sanctions by neighbouring Arab states amid allegations of links to terrorist groups. American and the others are now pressing their case with President Donald Trump. The stake has since grown to 20%, making Qatar Airways the biggest shareholder in IAG.
American Airlines has said it would respond "in due course" to the offer. Click to get this free reportAmerican Airlines Group, Inc. Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, accused Qatar of "asymmetric financial warfare".
"We remain committed to that effort", Parker said.
"The proposed investment by Qatar Airways was not solicited by American Airlines and would in no way change the company's board composition, governance, management or strategic direction".
Despite the tension, Qatar Airways and American have been partners in the OneWorld alliance since 2013.