QATAR AIR IN­TER­ESTED IN BUY­ING STAKE IN INDIGO, NOT AIR IN­DIA

SP's Airbuz - - Newsbrief -

Gulf ma­jor Qatar Air­ways, is not in­ter­ested in buy­ing a stake in In­dia’s na­tional car­rier

Air In­dia, which will be up for sale soon. The air­line nei­ther sees any syn­ergy with

Air In­dia’s op­er­a­tions, nor be­lieves that ac­quir­ing the air­line will help it to boost its op­er­a­tions in In­dia. “No! We are not in­ter­ested in Air In­dia,” Ak­bar Al-Baker,

CEO of Qatar Air­ways, replied to a ques­tion on the air­line’s in­ter­est in Air In­dia.Al Baker, how­ever, re­it­er­ated his in­ter­est in buy­ing a stake in IndiGo. “We are only in­ter­ested in IndiGo,” he said to a fol­low-up ques­tion on the air­line’s in­ter­est in in­or­ganic growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in In­dia.The govern­ment is brain­storm­ing to make the sale of Air In­dia a suc­cess af­ter a failed at­tempt last year. The govern­ment this time has de­cided to sell 100 per cent of the air­line and pass on only about half the to­tal debt to the buyer.

At­tracted by the In­dian mar­ket’s ex­po­nen­tial growth, Al Baker had ear­lier ex­pressed de­sire to start an air­line out of the coun­try. How­ever, he blamed re­stric­tive rules of In­dia as the rea­son for not go­ing ahead with his plans. “In­dia has one of the most re­stric­tive mar­kets. It should look at fur­ther open­ing the avi­a­tion sec­tor in favour of eco­nomic growth and to en­hance em­ploy­ment,” he said. In­dia doesn’t per­mit a for­eign air­line to hold more than 49 per cent stake in in­dige­nous air­lines which is ac­cord­ing to the Sub­stan­tial Own­er­ship and Ef­fec­tive Con­trol Norms of In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ICAO). Qatar Air­ways’ growth in In­dia has suf­fered as the coun­try has been re­luc­tant to­wards in­creas­ing fly­ing rights to the gulf na­tion.

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