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Qatar Airways eyes stake in no-frills carrier IndiGo

Tuesday, 6 May 2014 - 7:35am IST | Agency: DNA

There seems to be growing interest for India's airlines amongst the Middle East air carriers, with Qatar Airways now eyeing stake in the no-frills carrier IndiGo airline.

"We would be very interested in IndiGo if there's something available there. But the airline is performing very well so I don't think they would be interested," Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways, told Reuters.

He also said that Qatar Airways may look into buying additional Airbus A380 planes in the future.

"We are always open to opportunities in India," Baker said.

In 2012-13, IndiGo reported a whopping 1,454% jump in gross profit at Rs 993 crore as against Rs 64 crore a year ago, while revenue during the period rose by 65% to Rs 9,458 crore compared with Rs 5,718 crore in FY12. The company, promoted by Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal, is also expected to report another profitable year in 2013-14.

IndiGo's successful run in the aviation business is in sharp contrast to other listed and unlisted air carriers, which continue to post huge losses in the wake of rising competition and higher ATF prices.

India's airline industry is likely to witness heightened competition in the coming year as Singapore Airlines Ltd and Air Asia Bhd will be launching their operations in India with a full-service airline and a budget airline. Both are in joint ventures with Tata Sons Ltd.

Qatar Airways' announcement came after the airline announced it was now fully government and the country's sovereign fund bought a 50% stake from Qatar's former prime minister and other shareholders.
"We became fully government owned in July last year," Akbar Al Baker said at a news conference in Dubai.


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