Qatar Airways has announced its intention to purchase a stake in US carrier American Airlines.

In a regulatory filing AA said it had received an “unsolicited notice” from the Gulf airline, indicating the carrier’s intention to make “a significant investment in American Airlines”.

Qatar Airways said that it intended to purchase “at least $808 million in AA shares”, with aim of acquiring around ten per cent of the carrier.

But the Gulf airline will require approval from the AA board for the sizeable stake, as the US airline’s Certificate of Incorporation requires this for acquisitions of shares over 4.75 per cent.

In a statement Qatar Airways said:

“Qatar Airways sees a strong investment opportunity in American Airlines. Qatar Airways believes in American Airlines’ fundamentals and intends to build a passive position in the company with no involvement in management, operations or governance.

“Qatar Airways has long considered American Airlines to be a good Oneworld Alliance partner and looks forward to continuing this relationship. Qatar Airways plans to make an initial investment of up to 4.75 per cent. Qatar Airways will not exceed 4.75 per cent without prior consent of the American Airlines board. Qatar Airways will make all necessary regulatory filings at the appropriate time.”

For its part American Airlines said that the approach “would in no way change the Company’s Board composition, governance, management or strategic direction”, adding that “It also does not alter American Airlines’ conviction on the need to enforce the Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the nation of Qatar and ensure fair competition with Gulf carriers, including Qatar Airways”.

“American Airlines continues to believe that the President and his administration will stand up to foreign governments to end massive carrier subsidies that threaten the US aviation industry and that threaten American jobs”, concluded the carrier.

Last summer Qatar Airways purchased a 10 per cent stake in LATAM, and the carrier also increased its stake in British Airways’ parent company IAG to just over 20 per cent.,