The stake, which was bought on the open market, will be added to Qatar Airways’ 20% investment in International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia. Qatar Airways also has a 10% investment in LATAM Airlines Group, a 49% stake in Air Italy and a 9.99% investment in Cathay Pacific.
Qatar Airways’ group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “China Southern Airlines is one of the most prestigious airlines in the Chinese domestic market and an important market player in the world, with massive potential for cooperation in the future.
“Given the complementary strengths and resources of each of China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways, there are opportunities for us to work together and build a long term relationship in ways that would bring benefits to customers of both airlines.”
China Southern revealed in November that it would leave SkyTeam on January 1 this year and strengthen its partnership with American Airlines and other carriers. American Airlines bought a 2.68% stake in China Southern in 2017.
American and Qatar Airways are both oneworld members and it now looks likely that China Southern, which is based in the commercial city of Guangzhou, will join oneworld.