Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) has once more hiked its shareholding in the IAG International Airlines Group. In a statement, the Qatari carrier confirmed it had acquired an additional 4.34% in the carrier group thus bringing its total shareholding to 20.01%.

Akbar Al Baker, the Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, said that while his carrier's interest in IAG is purely financial, the increased shareholding reflects the strength of commercial and strategic ties between the companies and is proof of its the continued support for the IAG's strategy going forward.

“The recent market valuation of one of the world’s leading airline groups has provided what we believe is an attractive opportunity to increase our shareholding in IAG," he said. "We continue to be highly supportive of IAG’s strategy and management team and we do not intend to increase our percentage shareholding further unless there are material changes to the current situation."

The IAG controls British Airways (BA, London Heathrow), Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l), Vueling Airlines (VY, Barcelona El Prat), and Iberia (IB, Madrid Barajas).