Qatar hopes to wrap up 49% Meridiana Fly stake by January

Qatar's CEO was in Italy to announce the Doha-based carrier’s expansion plans for Italy including Pisa and Florence.


Akbar Al Baker Florence Airport Meridiana Fly Qatar Airways


Qatar Airways’ negotiations with Meridiana Fly, for a 49 per cent stake in the Italian airline is ongoing and and should conclude by early next year according to Qatar’s group chief executive was also provided by Akbar Al Baker.

“We are hoping to have our discussions concluded by the end of January. During this period Meridiana Fly also has to deliver certain conditions and achieve certain targets in its performance. We want Meridiana Fly to be a very strong national carrier with a robust international network, creating jobs for the young people of Italy.”

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker (c), with Abdul Aziz Bin Ahmed Al Malki (l), Qatar’s Ambassador to Italy, and Marco Rigotti (r), chairman of Meridiana Fly. Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker (c), with Abdul Aziz Bin Ahmed Al Malki (l), Qatar’s Ambassador to Italy, and Marco Rigotti (r), chairman of Meridiana Fly.

Al Baker was in Italy to announce the Doha-based carrier’s expansion plans for Italy and also to celebrate the launch of the airline’s flights to Pisa in August 2016. Pisa is the carrier’s fourth Italian destination and has been flying to Milan since 2002, Rome since 2003, and Venice since 2011.

The airline now offers six daily frequencies to Italy: Two to Milan and Rome and one each to Venice and Pisa. The new daily flight to Pisa has increased the airline’s weekly flights from Doha to Italy from 35 to 42.

“Italy is an incredibly important destination in our network and we will keep investing in new routes and increased services in this market. Once the runway extension at Florence Airport is complete, we fully intend to start a service to this historic city, which is so important to tourism in the region. We are also committed to upgrading the aircraft type currently flying to Pisa from an A320 to a wide body model as soon as we receive more aircraft in our fleet,” Al Baker added.