Qatar Airways has “agreement” for Royal Air Maroc stake

The airline could also dump Airbus over its Pratt and Whitney engines



Qatar Airways has an “understanding” with the Moroccan government that the airline will step in with a miority stake acquisition in Royal Air Maroc if required, the Qatari carrier’s chief executive said.

Speaking at Arabian Travel Market on Monday, Akbar Al Baker revealed the airline could acquire anywhere between a 25 and 49 per cent stake in its Moroccan counterpart.

“Talks have not started but on the high level there is an agreement,” he said.

“There is an understanding between the governments that Royal Air Maroc needs help and Qatar Airways would be very forthcoming.”

The Qatari airline is currently engaged in talks with troubled Italian carrier Meridiana to acquire a 49 per cent stake and has until June to decide for or against a deal.

Elsewhere, Al Baker said the company could walk away from its A320neo deal with Airbus because of continued concerns surrounding the hot weather performance of the craft’s Pratt and Whitney engines.

“Yes, it affects our operations and we will walk away from the aeroplanes already due, the four-to-six that have not been delivered,” he said.

Al Baker revealed Qatar had spoken to Airbus rival Boeing regarding the issue.

“Boeing are trying to oblige and give us the aircraft we require.”

He suggested the airline could switch its A320neo order to Boeing’s 737 NG should the issues continue.

“We have no issues introducing another type of aeroplane as long as our expansion plans are sustained,” he said