Qatar Airways increases its shareholding in IAG, parent of British Airways

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Qatar Airways has announced that it has increased its shareholding in IAG (International Consolidated Airlines Group), the parent company of British Airways, from 21.4% to 25.1%.

This is more significant than it sounds, because it gives Qatar Airways a veto over any major decisions (‘special resolutions’ in City parlance) which would require 75% of the shares to vote in favour.

Qatar Airways increases its shareholding in IAG

Non-EU investors are limited to a 49% shareholding in total under EU aviation rules, and IAG does at times restrict purchases of shares by non-EU groups in order to remain under this limit.

As IAG is legally a Spanish company this position will not change under any UK / EU  trade deal.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

It's another Qatar Airways 'up to 10% off' flight sale day!
Virgin news: Extra Havana flight added, Flybe now fully bookable via Virgin, buy cheap miles with 'Miles Booster'

Click here to join the 15,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Double Rewards
Amazon ad
AMEX Gold 20,000 bonus points
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. “for no other reason that the date was 02/02/20“

    02/02/2020 was the first (and rare) Palindrome Day in 909 years 😬

    • Shoestring says:


    • Titus Adduxas says:

      So that’s three in the last 10 years + 1 day!

      • remember not the whole world using dd/mm/yy

        • Exactly. 02/02/2020 is the first palindrome date in every date format for 909 years.

          • Shoestring says:

            I still think they got the Millennium wrong – it should have started in 2001 not 2000

            and we’re not in the ‘Twenty-twenties’ – that decade starts next Jan 1st

          • Yes, but most people use either DDMMYYYY or MMDDYYYY, not both, so to be a palindromic date, it just has to be palindromic in the format that you use.
            All palindromic dates this century from the perspective of the Brits:
            10022001 10th Feb 2001
            20022002 20th Feb 2020
            01022010 1st Feb 2010
            11022011 11th Feb 2011
            21022012 21st Feb 2012
            02022020 2nd Feb 2020
            12022021 12th Feb 2021
            03022030 3rd Feb 2030
            13022031 13th Feb 2031
            23022032 23rd Feb 2032
            04022040 4th Feb 2040
            14022041 14th Feb 2041
            24022042 24th Feb 2042
            05022050 5th Feb 2050
            15022051 15th Feb 2051
            25022052 25th Feb 2052
            06022060 6th Feb 2060
            16022061 16th Feb 2061
            26022062 26th Feb 2062
            07022070 7th Feb 2070
            17022071 17th Feb 2071
            27022072 27th Feb 2072
            08022080 8th Feb 2080
            18022081 18th Feb 2081
            28022082 28th Feb 2082
            09022090 9th Feb 2090
            19022091 19th Feb 2091
            29022092 29th Feb 2092 (I almost missed this one!)
            All palindromic dates this century from the perspective of the US and anyone else that writes dates in this odd, counter-intuitive manner:
            10022001 2nd Oct 2001
            01022010 2nd Jan 2010
            11022011 2nd Nov 2011
            02022020 2nd Feb 2020
            12022021 2nd Dec 2021
            03022030 2nd March 2030
            04022040 2nd April 2040
            05022050 2nd May 2050
            06022060 2nd June 2060
            07022070 2nd July 2070
            08022080 2nd Aug 2080
            09022090 2nd Sept 2090
            ION, I’m procrastinating to avoid my marking…

          • I 100% agree about the millennium Shoestring. That did my head in at the time.

            And the pallindrome for the calendars the “whole world uses” ignores countries that use the Islamic/Arabic calendar.

          • Shoestring says:

            @Waddle – actually my earlier suggestion 10/02/2001 works fine in both normal world and USA

            so the Yanks think it’s October whereas for normal people it’s February – but as a palindrome date it works both ways

          • @Shoestring you are right but I guess for it to be a global palindrome, the result needs to occur for everyone on the same date 😛

  2. OT – Intercontinental Ambassador. Thinking of joining and maybe using for a stay in Dublin or Edinburgh early January next year. Does the bogof perk apply to package rates? Looking at prices it’s not that much more to book a rate including breakfast for 3 of us. This is a refundable rate, but I’m not sure if it would count as “flexible”.

    • BOGOF applies to rates found at and no others. You can search rates without being an Ambassador.

    • I know that, I’m asking whether packages including breakfast count as “flexible” rates under the Ts and Cs of the programme?

      • If you can book it via that page, it’s OK. If you can’t, it’s not 🙂

      • i.e, there’s a “flexible” nightly rate, then one which includes breakfast. It’s not described as flexible, but it is refundable so is effectively flexible. Would a 2nd night be free if booking that rate?

        • Ok, thanks, just don’t want to join and then find there are fewer options!

          • Many thanks for the responses, think I’ve got the hang of it now. The breakfast rate doesn’t seem to be included, however £484 for a junior suite for 2 nights sounds like a pretty good deal!

          • Though having said that, it’s not at all convenient for the airport. I’ll have a look at Edinburgh!

          • @Anna
            I haven’t seen a package rate offered, even if flexible. It usually works out as a very good deal for a suite anyway – I’m using mine next month for a massive suite overlooking Sydney opera house, with club lounge access included. Come to about £300 a night over the two nights.

          • IC Edinburgh is not worth getting excited about and joining Ambassador for. @Zara can give you recent experience. Not sure about this winter but last winter WA had rooms under £140/night and Gold or Diamond status should turn that into a good stay. There are other good city centre options too.

          • Anna,

            The Edinburgh IC is really easy from the airport. The tram from the airport takes you to St Andrew Sq. From there it’s a two minute walk along George Street to the IC.

    • FlyingChris says:

      Just got back from a stay in the IC Dublin where we also used our Ambassador vouchers. Really nice hard product, albeit a little out of the way – but not hard to access via taxis/public transport. Great lobby lounge with reasonably priced (for a 5* at least) drinks (including proper pints!) that made for a nice end to the evening and easy way to spend the $15 credit.

  3. 5th route QR fights from Spain to the US. Veto that Iberia!

    • surely the new ability of Qatar to block any IAG Special Resolution is all about whether IAG make significant purchases / divestments / structure changes.

      how has this got anything to do with QR’s own activities ?

      • QR will gradually take over Iberia’s routes to the US having effectively tied IAG’s hands to veto. Just speculation of course.

        • i don’t think that’s what Special Resolutions are about. according to Bloomberg/Telegraph:

          However, voting rights of more than 25pc in a UK company allow a shareholder to block special resolutions such as the adoption of new articles of association, or changing a company’s name, according to law firm Stephens Scown.

        • maybe QR will exert influence on IAG by taking up a Board seat – but that won’t give them a veto on IAG operations

        • Why should QR take over IB US destinations? What’s the relationship?

          Or are you hoping that this way QR may fly 5th freedom destinations from Spain to USA? But what’s the relationship with IAG in this case?

  4. 1nfrequent says:

    O/T but I used my App for the Tesco double points offer. Offer said that the extra points would post in 5 – 7 days but it’s now 10 days and there’s nothing there. Anyone else had this issue and is it worth punting in a call to Tesco’s helpline?


    • +1
      No bonus points posted although I can see an extra line for each transaction within my online statement since the promotion started, with the number 0 for each.

      • 1nfrequent says:

        Clearly Tesco pays attention to HFP’s comments section because the posts suddenly posted today (taken 10 days, so it’s longer than what the promo terms and conditions say).

        Figured it was worth sharing as a datapoint.


  5. The best days are those which start with booking a holiday/mini break! I’ve taken the plunge and joined Intercontinental and booked a Club Room at New Year at the Paris Le Grand for 800 euros (the cost of the first night). Any tips/opinions gratefully received!

    • *IC Ambassador!

    • Wowsers! Sometimes I struggle to use my BOGOF as I’d rather use points, i.e. 70k points x 2 = 140k points = £560 < EUR 800.

      • I guess you get the club room, but still.

      • It’s New Year and the only weekend my OH and son are free Fri-Sun. Both our stashes of points are being hoarded to use at the GCM Kimpton next year where cash rates are $1k and upwards per night! We’ll get good value out of the lounge, I can guarantee…

        • Also – do you get the full amount of points from the bogof booking (it says 25k on the booking, which would get us a free night somewhere more modest), or do they adjust that for the 2nd night as well?

          • Not in my experience – points usually show as if you are paying for two nights. When you get there, they apply the voucher, and the cost for night two is zero, so you don’t get the points for night two.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            They adjust so you only get points on the amount you actually spend.

          • In my (so far only) experience of using the Amb voucher 18 months ago IHG decided my stay was non-qualifying, so gave me zero points! A call to them resulted in getting the points due for my stay, based on actual spend.
            Just took out Ambassador again this week but no plans yet for booking using the voucher or seeing if the points post correctly second time around.

    • Harrison says:

      Frantic. It’s a lovely hotel. Very Parisian. Are you IHG Spire?

      • I have Platinum via IHG MC, which is I understand is worth next to nothing and have just paid for Ambassador status. A new source of fun!

    • SultanOfCroydon says:

      I would never consider using the ambassador bogof for myself because it is almost certainly better value to use my points for the room booking and pay cash for club lounge access (you can also persuade hotel staff to apply the complementary £15 room credit against the charge for club lounge access).
      I gave away my bogof offer to a friend who would pay the cash rate anyway. Personally, I think it depends on how many IHG points you have at your disposal.

      • Well as I said above, my points are being saved for a hotel where the prices would make their eyes water at Le Grand!

  6. O/T
    If you pay off your Capital on Tap balance by card after the statement is created, does it reduce down the direct debit (like the IHG card) or does the full amount get collected anyway (like the Virgin cards).

    I’ve tried looking at the comments on previous CoT articles and on the CoT website but can’t find the answer.

    • It reduces the balance collected by DD. I can’t advise on how far beforehand you need to do it, but use common sense in not leaving it too close to your DD date.

      • Thank you for that! I’ve already paid it by card a couple of days after the statement date.

  7. OT:
    If a credit card allows me to pay using another card directly( eg pay IHG with Hilton) will Hilton then charge cash advance?
    This is hypothetical I am not saying it is possible to pay IHG with Hilton.

  8. Oh yeah, it was £48 for me. Thanks.

    How long does it take for the £100 to get confirmed?

    • Shoestring says:

      about 10 weeks – but judging by last time won’t be payable until ISTR month 9 (it’s a 6 month minimum but I let it ride rather than cancel for the last 2-3 months as you never know if they might decline you)

  9. O/T had a CX LHR to HKG one way business redemption booking this Sat which was cancelled due to operational changes. Rebooked onto Sunday of which is now also cancelled and bumped to Monday. Does EC 241 still apply post brexit? And do I have a case for two hotel nights as per their duty of care ? Thanks!

    • We are not yet post-Brexit, so yes, you are covered. Shoestring is the expert on duty of care.
      I wonder if the UK will keep the current EU261 legislation, and if so, what will happen if the EU changes the rules as rumoured recently?

      • Shoestring says:

        no great expert but I do try and keep up with what C-W-S is saying 🙂

        yep in the OP’s case, duty of care definitely applies but the airlines try and argue that you don’t need anything in the way of hotels/ food etc when your flight is departing the UK (& you live in the UK)! – crazy but they assume you’ll just stay at home free of charge – which is to say: claiming back duty of care might entail more determination

      • The UK has left the European Union – whether you like it or not. Pragmatically it hasn’t changed (yet). as in the transition period, the UK has to follow and obey all EU rules and regulations.

        • Lady London says:

          Eu261 has been incorporated into UK law so it won’t just stop applying until it’s actually repealed.

          • But if the EU changes the regs so that pax can only get compo after a 12-hour delay, would the UK still have the old regs unless they were actively repealed for us as well?

        • I didn’t say we hadn’t left, I said post-Brexit arrangements don’t apply yet – they haven’t been agreed yet for a start!

          • By definition, we are post-Brexit. Brexit relates to the process of leaving the EU. The UK has LEFT the EU. During the transition period, nothing changes, but the UK is not a member state of the EU.

    • Charlieface says:

      If you were actually rebooked on a new flight then you have two separate claims each of which will have duty of care and also compo if applicable.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes full duty of care 2 accomm, meals, comms (so hotel WiFi if charged), transport to and from hotel.

      • Thanks all for the advice. Had already made plans to travel to London for sat and would have been quite annoyed at having to change.
        Anticipating some to and fro of emails. Thanks @charlieface for reminding I can raise separate claims!

  10. Anyone know what’s the current policy for cancelling partner awards to China due to Coronavirus?
    Got a CX flight from HK to China booked with Avios travelling on 31st March. Is it possible to cancel for free now?

  11. Kathleen says:


    Any ideas:

    When you transfer Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Avios how long does it take for them to show up?

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.