Days after the announcement of an investment in LATAM Airlines Group, Qatar Airways says it has signed a contribution and shareholders agreement with Alisarda, the parent company of Meridiana fly and Air Italy.
The agreement, announced at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow, provides for Qatar Airways’ acquisition of 49% of Meridiana’s shares. The deal is expected to close by early October. The value is still undisclosed.
“Qatar Airways continues to expand its business opportunities around the world, increasing travel options for our passengers while also enhancing our investment portfolio,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said. “This agreement sets the path to progress our work towards a strong resolution that benefits both the staff and passengers who travel with Meridiana fly.”
The deal comes after months of discussions between the Qataris, airline management and airline unions over the extent of cuts needed to trim the carrier’s bloated workforce, which were revised from the original 527 to 396.