Qatar Airways has increased its shareholding in British Airways and Iberia parent IAG from 21.4% to 25.1%.

The Doha-based carrier initially took a stake in IAG at the start of 2015, before increasing it to just over a 20% in 2016.

“Our investment to date has been highly successful and the announced increase in our shareholding is evidence of our continued support of IAG and its strategy,” says Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker.

IAG, which also owns Aer Lingus and Vueling, late last year agreed a deal to acquire Spanish carrier AIr Europa.

The move comes a month after IAG lifted restrictions on stakes held by non-EU shareholders, implemented in February 2019 to ensure IAG remained majority EU-controlled. In lifting the restrictions,IAG noted that as of 19 January 39.5% of its shares were held by relevant non-EU persons.

Qatar Airways has been an active airline investor, acquiring minority shareholdings in Cathay Pacific, China Southern and LATAM Airlines. It also has a 49% stake in Air Italy, the former Meridiana operation which earlier this month announced it was to cease operations.