Qatar Airways has pulled out of talks to buy a stake in loss-making Spanish airline Spanair, the Catalan regional government said on Friday.
The Gulf airline was believed to have been interested in a stake in Spanair, about whom Scandinavian partner SAS has been in talks to find a possible industrial partner since November.
“Qatar Airways has left the negotiations,” a spokeswoman from the Catalan regional government said, although she declined to comment on media reports the highly-indebted authority would withdraw economic support for Spanair.
The northeastern region owns 84.6 percent of Spanair, along with private investors through the IEASA holding.
Qatar Airways declined to comment.
Spanair operates Spanish national and European flights, and has been looking for a partner since last year to set up long-haul routes.
Gulf carriers, backed by sovereign funds from the oil-producing states, have been eyeing investments in Europe where cash-strapped companies have been looking for external funds.
Qatar Airways bought a 35 percent stake in freight carrier Cargolux Airlines International last year.