Qatar Airways is getting a piece of the growing Chinese aviation market with a purchase of a 5% stake in Guangzhou-based China Southern.

The acquisition was made official on December 28, 2018, as China Southern – the largest carrier of China – joins several airlines and aviation businesses the Doha-based carrier has invested in. Along with China Southern, Qatar Airways has a 20% share in IAG aviation group – the owners of British Airways, a 10% in Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, a 49% stake in Air Italy, and a 10% stake in South American airline LATAM.

In a statement, Qatar Airways stated the deal was part of its "strategy to invest in the strongest airlines around the world.” The cost of the transaction was not disclosed.

There are opportunities for “us to work together and build a long term relationship in ways that would bring benefits to customers of both airlines,” said Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker.

The deal follows China Southern’s departure from the SkyTeam alliance, which was followed by OneWorld member American Airlines announcing an expanded codeshare agreement.

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