Although the two airlines are on opposite sides of a trade fight, they sell seats on each other’s flights and cooperate.
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DALLAS: Qatar Airways wants to buy 10 percent of American Airlines, a move cloaked so heavily in international trade and politics that American's CEO finds it puzzling. American has tried to convince two successive U.S. administrations that Qatar and two other state-owned Middle Eastern carriers get illegal subsidies from their governments. Qatar has fought back in the increasingly nasty dispute. Qatar Thursday said it plans to buy an initial stake of up to 4.75 percent American's stock. American said Qatar CEO Akbar al-Baker told American CEO Doug Parker that he wants to acquire about 10 percent of the airline's stock, which would cost about $2.4 billion. American, the world's biggest airline, said Qatar's bid was unsolicited, and Parker belittled it."We aren't particularly excited about Qatar's outreach," the CEO wrote in a memo to American employees. He said the move was "puzzling" given American's ongoing fight over claims that Qatar, Emirates and Etihad Airways receive unfair government subsidies – a fight he vowed to keep pursuing.Qatar also announced it would take a 49 percent stake in Meridiana, Italy's second-biggest carrier, and it bought 10 percent of Chile's Latam Airlines Group for $608 million.American's shares rose 54 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $48.97 after surging more than 4 percent Thursday morning.
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