Skift Airline Weekly Lounge

Qatar’s Bet on Air Italy Fails

February 20, 2020

Qatar Airways took a page from Etihad's book and invested in a European carrier. This elicited howls from the major U.S. airlines. They claimed this move was nothing more than a Trojan Horse strategy for Qatar to operate fifth-freedom flights to the U.S. from Europe (but not quite, since Air Italy was a European carrier). Air Italy never fulfilled its promise — or threat, depending on where you stood on the issue — and the airline is now shutting down Feb. 25. Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte tells us why.