Emirates, Qatar Air said to be in talks with India’s GoAir

Several airlines reportedly eyeing low cost carrier in latest round of India FDI speculation

Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways are among those in talks with India’s GoAir over acquiring a stake in the low cost carrier, it has been reported.

Sources told India’s Economic Times that the Mumbai-based airline has appointed JP Morgan to find fresh investment, following a change in foreign direct investment (FDI) laws that means overseas carriers can now acquire up to 49 percent of Indian airlines.

"The company is in talks with German carrier Lufthansa and Dubai-based Emirates and Qatar Airways, among others," an investment banker with knowledge of the matter told the newspaper.  "It is very early to divulge more details.”

A spokesperson for GoAir, which operates a fleet of 15 aircraft across a network of 21 destinations, said that the company does not comment on market speculation.  GoAir is 100 percent owned by the Nusli Wadia Group.

Following the change in India’s FDI regulations, most of the country’s carriers – many of which are saddled with hefty debts - have been linked to deals involving foreign operators.

Earlier this week, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said that his airline was in talks with no frills carrier Indigo for a codeshare, but was not looking to acquire a stake.

In late April Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways completed the first acquisition in India’s aviation market following the FDI change, snapping up 24 percent of Jet Airways for $379m. Following the deal Jet will make the UAE capital a hub for international flights to Europe.

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