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Sat 25 Jul 2015 02:13 AM

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Qatar Airways said to be in talks on deal with India's SpiceJet

Negotiations will reportedly initially focus on interline agreement, could eventually lead to Doha carrier buying stake

Qatar Airways said to be in talks on deal with India's SpiceJet

Qatar Airways has again been linked with a move to invest in India's SpiceJet, more than two years after the Doha carrier's CEO rejected claims he was interested in buying a stake.

Shares of SpiceJet jumped on Friday on reports that the domestic airline is in talks with Qatar Airways to negotiate a commercial agreement that could eventually lead to the company picking up a stake in the Indian airline.

Indian media said the negotiations will initially involve SpiceJet signing an interline agreement with Qatar Airways, making Doha its international hub.

The latest reports come just months after Qatar Airways said it wants to buy up to 49 percent of India's IndiGo.

In January 2013 Qatar Airways' CEO Akbar Al Baker rejected claimed he was interested in investing in Indian airlines after reports linking it to SpiceJet.

Reports said Qatar Airways has been looking to expand its presence in India to catch up with Gulf rivals Emirates and Etihad.

An unnamed SpiceJet executive was quoted as saying: "Talks were held recently and consensus was achieved on an interline arrangement. It was decided to resume discussions after the Eid holidays and talks will resume again in a week's time."

The reports said talks between Qatar Airways and SpiceJet first took place in March and a second meeting happened recently.

If a deal does take place, it will be the second such transaction in recent years after Etihad Airways picked up a 24 percent stake in Jet Airways in 2013.

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