Doha-based Qatar Airways has reached an agreement to take a 49% stake in Italian carrier Meridiana.

Talks toward the deal have been going on for months. The partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on “a potential partnership project” in early February, which culminated in an agreement signed July 14 at the Farnborough Airshow.

“Qatar Airways announced today that it 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 said in a brief statement.

Sardinia-based Meridiana is the second largest Italian airline, operating flights to domestic and European destinations using a fleet of Boeing 737s, 767s and MD-82s.

This marks Qatar’s second airline equity acquisition in a week; it announced an agreement to acquire up to 10% of LATAM Airline Group July 12. Qatar, a oneworld alliance airline, also has a 15% stake in IAG, parent of British Airways.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com