By Geoffrey Smith
August 3, 2017

Qatar Airways has changed its mind and no longer wants to buy a stake in American Airlines.

“Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives,” Qatar Airways said in a statement.

The news came as a relief to American Airlines executives, who have from the beginning been viscerally against the idea.

“We aren’t particularly excited about Qatar’s outreach,” CEO Doug Parker had written in a letter to employees seen by CNBC in June. “We find it extremely puzzling given our extremely public stance on the illegal subsidies that Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad have all received over the years.”

Read: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker’s Chilly Response to Qatar Airways

An AA spokesman said late Wednesday that “This in no way changes the course for American.”

Qatar Airways didn’t elaborate, but American’s second-quarter earnings had beaten expectations and supported its share price, making it harder for Qatar to pick up a stake on the cheap.

The initial proposal to buy into American was met with suspicion by critics at a time when Qatar is embroiled in the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in years and is locked in an airspace rights dispute with three other Gulf states.

The state-owned carrier lost access to 18 Middle East destinations in fallout from the ongoing regional political crisis.

 

 

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