Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) is considering increasing its 10% stake in LATAM Airlines Group after rival Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) announced it will buy a 20% stake in the South American holding, Reuters has reported.

Speaking to the media during the launch of the carrier's new service to Langkawi, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said that he had no prior notification of Delta's investment in LATAM. He added that as a minority shareholder, Qatar Airways had no direct influence over LATAM.

"We don’t dictate to LATAM how they should conduct their business. [It] is absolutely their prerogative with whom they want to have shareholding, with whom they want to work with," Al Baker said.

Following the Delta investment, LATAM said it will leave Oneworld and join Skyteam instead. Qatar Airways is a member of Oneworld, although Al Baker has repetitively threatened to leave over disagreements with American Airlines, which used to be LATAM's main US partner prior to the Delta deal. Al Baker said that the potential decision to leave Oneworld has been shelved for now as other alliance members offered to assist Qatar Airways and American Airlines in burying the hatchet.

Meanwhile, Kenya-based weekly The East African has reported that Qatar Airways would be planning to buy a stake in RwandAir (WB, Kigali) from the Rwandan government. No details were made available regarding the potential size of the stake under negotiations and the timeline for the acquisition. Both airlines refused to comment on the rumours.

Besides LATAM, Qatar Airways already has stakes in Air Italy (IG, Milan Malpensa) (49%), Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong Int'l) (9.99%), and IAG International Airlines Group (21.46%). It also wholly-owned not launched Saudi Arabian start-up Al Maha Airways (Riyadh).

RwandAir, which is currently fully state-owned, is one of the small- and medium-sized African carriers rapidly expanding its scale. The carrier currently operates one A330-200, one A330-300, two B737-700s, four B737-800s, two CRJ900ERs, and two Dash 8-400s, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. It expects deliveries of two A330-900s shortly, as well as two B737-8s once the type is recertified. Its intercontinental network encompasses services to Brussels National, Mumbai Int'l, Dubai Int'l, London Gatwick, Guangzhou, and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion.

Qatar Airways itself operates daily to Kigali via Entebbe/Kampala, and also operates a 1x weekly cargo service to the Rwandan capital.