Lufthansa: German airline not open to Qatar investment

Lufthansa needs to limit ownership by shareholders from non-European Union member states to 49 percent to preserve its aviation licenses. (AFP)
Updated 03 December 2019

Lufthansa: German airline not open to Qatar investment

  • The Gulf carrier has been seeking to boost collaborations
  • ‘We did not have Lufthansa privatized in Germany to have it nationalized in Qatar’

FRANKFURT: Lufthansa responded coldly on Monday to a report that rival Qatar Airways was interested in taking a stake in or collaborating with the German airline.
The Gulf carrier, which holds minority stakes in airlines including IAG, Cathay Pacific, and China Southern Airlines, has been seeking to boost collaborations.
Its chief executive Akbar Al-Baker was quoted by German news agency dpa on Sunday as saying he was interested in investing in Lufthansa to seize business opportunities in Europe’s biggest economy.
“We did not have Lufthansa privatized in Germany to have it nationalized in Qatar,” a Lufthansa spokesman said.
Initially, Qatar Airways would also look into a partnership with Lufthansa to ramp up air transport services and tourism in Germany, Al-Baker told dpa in Doha on the sidelines of a visit of the premier of regional state Lower Saxony to Qatar.
State-owned Qatar Airways declined to comment.
Lufthansa needs to limit ownership by shareholders from non-European Union member states to 49 percent to preserve its aviation licenses.
Its CEO Carsten Spohr has repeatedly criticized Gulf rivals such as Qatar, Emirates and Etihad Airways of receiving what he describes as unfair state subsidies.
Dpa also quoted the Qatar Airways CEO as saying the carrier’s membership of the Oneworld airline alliance would not stand in the way of a pact with Lufthansa, which is part of rival Star Alliance.
“We have said several time that we will leave OneWorld,” he told dpa.
Al-Baker said in October that while considering a withdrawal a final decision had not been made.
He also said then his airline would consider lifting its 10 percent stake in Chilean carrier LATAM Airlines Group SA if the opportunity came up.
Last month Qatar signed a codeshare agreement with top Indian airline IndiGo, winning more access to the fast-growing Indian market.


Oil prices ‘likely to remain static despite output cuts’

Updated 01 October 2020

Oil prices ‘likely to remain static despite output cuts’

  • Survey points to uneven recovery with demand under threat from rising coronavirus cases

BENGALURU: Oil prices will stay near current levels this year as rising novel coronavirus cases threaten to slow the pace of demand recovery and counter output curbs by top producers, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

The survey of 40 analysts and economists forecast benchmark Brent crude averaging $42.48 a barrel in 2020. That compares with an average of $42.54 this year and last month’s forecast of $42.75. Brent is projected to average $50.41 in 2021.

The 2020 US crude price outlook was at $38.70 per barrel versus $38.82 predicted in August. It has averaged $38.20 this year.

“As long as there is no working vaccine available, the main risk for oil prices is lower-than-expected demand,” Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro said.

Global demand was seen contracting by 8 million-9.8 million bpd (barrels per day) this year, slightly less bleak than the 8 million-10 million bpd consensus last month.

“Demand recovery should still continue in our view, although at a slower pace with the easiest demand gains behind us,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

The recovery “will remain uneven”, he added.

Brent prices are on track for their first monthly decline in six as rising coronavirus infections across many regions, including Europe and the US brought new restrictions, while global cases surpassed 33 million.

The International Energy Agency this month cut its 2020 demand forecast by 200,000 bpd to 91.7 million bpd.

But production cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will offer some support to prices, analysts said, with the group curbing output by 7.7 million bpd.

“We suspect compliance with the OPEC+ deal will remain patchy but doubt that this will prevent the group from extending or even deepening its output cuts later this year,” Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain said.