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

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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.

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.

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Comments (160)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • xcalx says:

    OT IHG free card Have spent over £500 and received 10,000 bonus points. Offer was 20,000 Has anyone received the extra10k

  • Vit says:

    OT: Rob et al, I and partner just got AMEX Gold Reward card. Partner referred me so she should get 6000 reward points. Can we both add each other as supplementary card to gain another 3000 reward point each?


  • Ian says:

    OT: 50% MR point bonus transfer to Marriott at the end of 2019. I wasn’t targetted for the offer, but did a transfer anyway just in case on November 19th. I sent a message to Marriott last Sunday asking if they could raise a ticket, and last night the bonus points posted.

    • Rob says:

      The problem is that effectively pressurising Marriott to give you something you were not entitled to is not exactly a strategy we can scale up!

    • jason says:


      what email address did you use?


    • Harry T says:

      I was told by AMEX that I was targeted, but wasn’t given an email (despite asking for one). I have also emailed Bonvoy and they have opened a ticket. I heard someone else on Flyertalk had success through contacting Marriott, although I believe they were Ambassador, which may help.

      • Freddy says:

        I emailed Marriott bonvoy through their website and my points showed up a few hours later. Was all prepared for a battle!

  • The Jetset Boyz says:

    “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!

      • Donny says:

        remember not the whole world using dd/mm/yy

        • Waddle says:

          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

          • Peter K says:

            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

          • Waddle says:

            @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 😛

  • Anna says:

    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”.

    • Rob says:

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

    • Anna says:

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

      • Rob says:

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

      • Anna says:

        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?

        • Anna says:

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

          • Anna says:

            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!

          • Anna says:

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

          • Harry T says:

            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.

          • BJ says:

            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.

          • Michael says:


            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.

  • Russ says:

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

    • ADS says:

      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 ?

      • Russ says:

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

        • ADS says:

          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.

        • ADS says:

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

        • marcw says:

          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?

  • 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?


    • DB2020 says:

      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.


  • Anna says:

    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!

    • Anna says:

      *IC Ambassador!

    • Genghis says:

      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.

      • Genghis says:

        I guess you get the club room, but still.

      • Anna says:

        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…

        • Anna says:

          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?

          • Benj says:

            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.

          • EwanG says:

            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?

      • Anna says:

        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.

      • Anna says:

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

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