IAG share price: Aer Lingus in talks with Qatar Airways about Doha flights

on Jun 2, 2016
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Aer Lingus, part of International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG), is in talks with Qatar Airways about commencing flights from Dublin to Doha to connect with the state-backed carrier’s giant Asian network, Bloomberg has reported. The news comes after the Gulf airline recently raised its holding in the Irish carrier’s parent which also owns British Airways, Iberia and Spanish low-cost airline Vueling.

IAG’s share price has surged in today’s session, having added 1.52 percent to 533.50p as of 13:20 BST, and outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.13 percent higher at 6,199.78 points. The shares have lost nearly four percent of their value over the past year, and are down some 12 percent in the year-to-date.
Bloomberg quoted Aer Lingus’ chief executive Stephen Kavanagh as saying in a briefing prior to the International Air Transport Association’s annual meeting yesterday that the Irish carrier could serve the route itself or code-share on prospective Qatar Airways flights between Dublin and Doha. A pact with the Gulf carrier, which Kavanagh argues is “only a matter of time,” would boost competition with Dubai-based Emirates, Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi and Turkish Airlines, which all already offer direct links with the Irish capital.

“We will connect into the Qatar hub either on our metal or Qatar metal,” Aer Lingus’ chief executive told the newswire. “It’s certainly an opportunity to plug into the geographic advantage that Qatar has.”
Kavanagh’s comments come after Qatar Airways recently raised its stake in the Aer Lingus and British Airways parent to 15.01 percent, and signalled that it is considering hiking its holding in IAG further. The move, however, has prompted concerns about the Gulf state’s grip on British aviation, with Qatar Holding, part of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, holding a 20-percent stake in Heathrow.
As of 13:56 BST, Thursday, 02 June, International Consolidated Airlines Grp share price is 533.75p.