Qatar Airways in talks with SpiceJet – reports

Report follows days after Qatar Airways boss says airline may be interested in Indian carrier

Qatar’s flagship carrier Qatar Airways is reportedly in talks with India’s SpiceJet to purchase a stake in the airline.

The low cost carrier, India’s fourth-largest by domestic market share, is said to be in talks with several foreign airlines, the Times of India said, citing unnamed sources.

Shares in the carrier surged 6.5 percent during morning trading. SpiceJet shares increased 161 percent last year on expectations the airline will eventually sell a stake to a foreign carrier.

The report follows several days after Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the carrier may be interested in purchasing an Indian airline.

“India is a huge market. India is a potentially lucrative market. Qatar Airways will be interested once we are sure the regulations and the laws are properly liberalised,” he said in comments published by Bloomberg.

India in September decided to allow foreign airlines to buy stakes of up to 40 percent in local airlines, seen as a lifeline for airlines battling stiff competition and high operating costs. The move led to speculation Gulf carriers would look to buy up stakes in airlines including Kingfisher and SpiceJet.

Jet Airways earlier in the month confirmed it is in talks with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways over a potential stake sale following media speculation.

“Various structures are being explored by the legal and commercial teams,” the airline said in a statement on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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