Qatar Airways has reportedly pulled out of talks to buy a stake in Spanair.

The Gulf carrier confirmed last week that it was examining a potential acquisition in Europe, where it last year purchased a stake in freight operator Cargolux.

However, a spokeswoman from the Catalan regional government revealed this week that Qatar Airways had "left the negotiations" to acquire a stake in Spanair, according to local reports.

It follows Etihad's decision at the end of 2011 to buy a stake in Air Berlin, the first time a major Gulf carrier has made a major investment in a European passenger airline.

Speaking to Flightglobal the day before the Spanair reports surfaced, Qatar's CEO Akbar Al Baker said: "We are not in a hurry to take on any sick carrier in Europe.

"We want to pick and choose something that will make both airlines stronger."

Source: Flight International