“Meridiana clarifies that the issue is still under analysis,” Loredana de Filippo said in an e-mailed statement. “In any case, it regards the brand and not the corporate assets of the Group.”
The comments come after Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int’l) chief executive Akbar al Baker this week said that the switch to the Air Italy brand would better identify Meridiana as the national carrier of Italy.
Qatar Airways acquired a 49% stake in Meridiana’s parent AQA Holding earlier this year with plans to revamp the ailing Sardinia-based airline’s operations.
According to al Baker the purchase, along with a variety of other equity investments that culminated in the acquisition of a near 10% stake in Cathay Pacific earlier this week, are part of a grander scheme to develop a ‘virtual mega-carrier’.
“I see a lot of synergies we could bring as a group,” he was quoted by Reuters. “I hope that one day in the not too distant future we all, these four groups, get together and exchange shareholdings in each other so that we will become a real mega-carrier. That is something that some people have tried, but not successfully.”