Qatar Airways acquires 5 percent stake in China Southern

Qatar Airways says it now holds a 5 percent share in China Southern Airlines, helping expand the Gulf carrier's reach in one of the world's fastest growing aviation markets.

Qatar Airways Group said Wednesday the acquisition of additional shares of China Southern supports its overall investment strategy. The Mideast carrier has a 49 percent stake in Air Italy, nearly 10 percent in Cathay Pacific and LATAM Airlines Group, and a 20 percent investment in International Airlines Group — the holding company for British Airways among others.

China Southern Airlines is a member of SkyTeam, an alliance that includes Delta, KLM, Air France and others.

Despite losses off its revenue last year due to a boycott from neighboring Gulf states, Qatar Airways maintains it is the "world's fastest growing airline."