Qatar Airways today revealed that it plans to increase its strategic partnership with Spanish airline Iberia. Qatar Airways owns 25.1% of Iberia’s owner, the International Airlines Group. The move comes as Qatar Airways looks to strengthen passengers’ travel options to South America through a range of partnerships.
Qatar Airways is no stranger to codeshare agreements. Since the start of December alone, Simple Flying has reported on countless such agreements being undertaken as part of the airline’s drive to strengthen airline partnerships. Now the airline has announced that it will further its partnership with Spanish flag carrier Iberia.
40 new routes for Qatar customers
As part of the new deal announced today, Qatar Airways customers will benefit from an expanded route network featuring 40 more connections via Iberia codeshare flights. These will be focused on short-haul links to the Iberian Peninsular, in addition to long-haul transatlantic hops to Latin America. Customers won’t have to wait to make use of the expanded codeshare agreement as Qatar Airways revealed tickets have already gone on sale.
As always, with Qatar Airways’ codeshare agreements, it will work in both directions, and Iberia’s customers will also benefit quite significantly. In total, they will get access to 36 new routes on the Qatar Airways network, including connections to Angola, Australia, Mozambique, and South Africa.
Commenting on the new agreement, Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker said,
“We are pleased to further expand our codeshare cooperation with Iberia, Spain’s largest carrier and the leading airline connecting Europe with Latin America. This expansion of our strategic partnership with Iberia further strengthens connectivity between the hubs of Doha and Madrid ensuring more flexible travel options for our customers. Qatar Airways and Iberia have enjoyed the mutual benefits our partnership has brought us since its establishment in 2017.”
Qatar Airways owns part of Iberia’s owner
Iberia is owned by the International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, IAG Cargo, LEVEL, and Vueling. Yesterday the group revealed that it is still seeking to purchase Spanish carrier Air Europa for a reduced price of €500 million ($607 million).
Qatar Airways owns a significant chunk of IAG, meaning that it owns a part of Iberia in a roundabout way. A year ago, Qatar Airways owned 21.4% of IAG. However, in February, the airline increased its stake to 25.1%, meaning that it holds just over a quarter of the group. At the time, Al Baker commented,
“Our investment to date has been highly successful and the announced increase in our shareholding is evidence of our continued support of IAG and its strategy.”