Mumbai: Gulf carrier Qatar Airways is likely to invest in the debt-ridden SpiceJet by purchasing its parking slots overseas, sources said. Officials of the state-run Qatar Investment Promotion Authority are likely to meet the top brass of SpiceJet shortly, they added.
The Kalanithi Maran-promoted domestic airline had earlier this week said it was in "advanced stage of discussions" with an overseas entity for capital infusion. "A team of officials from Qatar Investment Promotion Authority is scheduled to meet the SpiceJet management in a day or two to discuss investment plans of Qatar Airlines," a source told PTI.
Sources further said Qatar Airways has evinced interest in buying some of the SpiceJet's overseas slots as part of its strategy to enter the country's aviation market. "Considering that another Gulf carrier Etihad, which has acquired 24 per cent equity in Jet Airways, had also bought Jet's three prime slots at London's Heathrow Airport for USD 70 million prior to the signing of the deal, such a transaction is possible," the source added.
When contacted, an SpiceJet spokesperson said, "We do not comment on market speculation." The development could not be independently verified with Qatar Airways.
"We are in advanced stages of capital infusion discussions with an external entity that when completed will help us clean up our arrears and rebuild with confidence," the airline had said in a statement earlier.
The airline had reported its worst-ever financial numbers in the just-concluded FY 2014 - a record net loss of Rs 1,003 crore.