Qatar Airways has signed a contribution and shareholders agreement with Alisarda, the parent company of Meridiana. The agreement provides for Qatar Airways to purchase 49% of Meridiana fly’s shares, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, before the closing which is planned for early October.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways continues to expand its business opportunities around the world, increasing travel options for our passengers while also enhancing our investment portfolio. “This agreement sets the path to progress our work towards a strong resolution that benefits both the staff and passengers who travel with Meridiana fly.”

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Meridiana is the second largest carrier in Italy, with an extensive national and European network, which connects the main Italian airports with Sardinia and provides connectivity with hubs in Europe as well as in the U.S. and Africa. Meridiana’s fleet consists of Boeing 737s, 767s and MD-82s.