Qatar Air eyeing more stakes, including IndiGo

Monday, 9 March 2015 00:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker attends a news conference at the International Tourism Trade Fair (ITB) in Berlin last week. Qatar Airways will take delivery of its second Airbus A350 on Wednesday and expects to receive seven more this year, Al Baker said. REUTERS     BERLIN (Reuters): Qatar Airways would like to raise its stake in the owner of British Airways and Iberia at some point and may invest in other well-run airlines, its chief executive said last week. Qatar Airways bought a 9.99% stake in International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) in January, aiming to forge closer ties to a company with two major European hubs and strong transatlantic networks. Asked whether Qatar Airways would like to buy more of its oneworld partner, Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: “Yes, we would like to increase our stake in IAG at a later date. We have just taken a shareholding: we could add value to them and they will add value to us.” Qatar Airways will also keep investing in other well-managed carriers to diversify its income from the main airline. “We will look at other acquisitions of airlines but we look at airlines that don’t take the resources of Qatar, or attention of Qatar management, to fix issues. We will always go after goldsmiths, not scrap dealers.” That could include India’s IndiGo, if any of the privately-owned budget carrier became available to buy. “I think domestic airlines in India are inefficiently run. The only one efficiently run is IndiGo. If we have the opportunity to acquire a stake in IndiGo we shall be very pleased to do so,” Al Baker said. He was speaking at a news conference during ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism fair. The fast growth of Qatar Airways and two UAE carriers, Emirates and Etihad, has redrawn the aviation map around the Gulf, putting those carriers at odds with some Western rivals. It has ordered 80 of the long-haul jet, which is designed to compete with the Boeing 787 and 777. He said performance and dispatch reliability of the first A350, delivered in December, had exceeded expectations.