This week’s featured link:
American’s SEC Filing About Qatar’s Investment Interest – EDGAR
American has received word that Qatar is interested in investing in the airline. There’s a lot of speculation out there about this one, so let’s stick with the facts. The link above is to the SEC filing that American was
required decided to file.
Qatar isn’t looking to take over or merge with American, mostly because it can’t. This is probably similar to the investment Qatar has made in IAG over in Europe. There are a lot of reasons for Qatar to do this, and undoubtedly one of them is to try to soften the anti-Middle East carrier stance in the US. That’s not going to work. American CEO Doug Parker put out a letter almost immediately after this was announced and it was as blunt as can be, as you would entirely expect. Here’s the gist of it.
While anyone can purchase our shares in the open market, we aren’t particularly excited about Qatar’s outreach, and we find it puzzling given our extremely public stance on the illegal subsidies that Qatar, Emirates and Etihad have all received over the years from their governments. We remain committed to that effort, and we will remain so even with this potential investment.
While today’s news for some of our team may be puzzling, at best, and concerning, at worst, here’s what we know for sure: We will not be discouraged or dissuaded from our full court press in Washington, D.C., to stand up to companies that are illegally subsidized by their governments. We stand for American Airlines, and we stand for all of you and the amazing work you do every day, around the globe, to take care of our customers.
If anything, this development strengthens our resolve to ensure the U.S. government enforces its trade agreements regarding fair competition with Gulf carriers, because we must make it crystal clear that no minority investment in American will ever dissuade us from doing what is right for our team members, our customers and all of our shareholders. And do not worry, per U.S. law, no foreign entity can own more than 25% of a U.S. airline, so there is no possibility that Qatar will be able to purchase enough of American to control or influence our Board, management or our strategy.
American can’t stop Qatar from becoming an investor, at least not up to 4.75 percent of the company.
Two for the road:
AirAsia X CEO Takes to Twitter to Call Off Plans to Fly to Europe and California – Skift
Two years ago, I spoke with AirAsia’s founder Tony Fernandes and he told me they had their eyes on the west coast of the US and Europe. AirAsia X, the longer-haul division of the company, had flown to Europe previously but pulled out when it proved unprofitable. But with newer aircraft on the market, AirAsia was bullish and made it clear in repeated comments that long haul was coming. And now… scratch that. Tony took to Twitter to say they’ve had a change of heart. New flights will be under 9 hours so they’ll focus on that middle-haul market primarily within Asia that seems to have worked much better. This one looks like yet another proof point that long haul doesn’t work too well for a low cost carrier.
Frontier Airlines Tells Customers To Just Fucking Deal With It – The Onion
Yes, it’s The Onion. Yes, it’s suppose to be satire. But damn if this doesn’t ring true. I honestly kept reading this thinking that the ULCCs would be much better off if they actually said it like this. “You’re the ones who wanted to save $150, so you’re welcome, assholes.” TRUTH.