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Fri 2 Aug 2013 06:04 PM

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Emirates Airline refutes talks on SpiceJet stake bid

Dubai-based carrier calls reports 'inaccurate'; says focused on own expansion plans

Emirates Airline refutes talks on SpiceJet stake bid

Emirates Airline has denied media reports that it is in talks with Indian carrier SpiceJet for a stake in the carrier.

In a statement cited by news agency WAM, the Dubai-based airline called the reports "inaccurate", adding that it was busy with its own expansion plans.

"In response to recent inaccurate stories in the media, Emirates can confirm it has no plans to acquire a stake in any airline in India or elsewhere," an Emirates spokesperson said in response to questions from the Khaleej Times, WAM reported on Friday.

The spokesperson added that the carrier was focused on its own growth and was investing substantially in its own fleet and network expansion plans.

On Thursday, the Hindu newspaper quoted unnamed sources that Emirates was in advanced stages of talks to pick up a stake in SpiceJet.

Debt-laden SpiceJet’s CEO Neil Mills resigned last month, bolstering speculation that the carrier’s shareholders were paving the way for a tie-up with a third party airline.

Mills told Arabian Business last year that SpiceJet had held preliminary talks with unspecified Gulf carriers.

Emirates is currently the largest foreign airline operating in India, operating 185 weekly flights to ten destinations. Its share of outbound traffic from the country is about 13 percent. Its weekly seat capacity is 54,200, although it has been lobbying the Indian government for an increase.

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