Gulf carriers have expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in Indian budget airline SpiceJet, its chairman revealed in Dubai on Sunday. “Some of the Gulf airlines have expressed an interest in SpiceJet as we have come back into the market, but this is not the right time to be diluting the equity,” chairman Ajay Singh was quoted as saying by Bloomberg, without naming the companies.
“There is some dialogue which is ongoing and we continue to explore other types of relationships we could have.” Gulf carriers already have relationships with Indian carriers. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways bought a 24 percent stake in Jet Airways in 2013 and Qatar Airways said recently it would be interested in buying a 49 percent stake in Indian budget carrier IndiGo.
In 2013, reports in India claimed Dubai’s Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Kuwait Airways had all held talks with SpiceJet about a possible stake sale.
The same year, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark admitted in an interview the Dubai carrier had looked into the possibility of investing in India’s aviation sector. “I have never said no. Of course, we have looked at this. The Indian aviation market is a big cake and Etihad had got a piece, but at least three quarters of the cake is still there, uneaten,” he told Business Line.
On Sunday, SpiceJet also announced it plans to order more than 150 planes in the current financial year. "We are in the process of placing a large aircraft order. The airline will order in excess of 150 planes - we hope to do that in this financial year," Singh told reporters.
Source: Arabian Business