Says it will not jump into negotiations until the govt reaches a crucial decision on foreign investmentReuters / Dubai Apr 18, 2012
SpiceJet has been approached by several Gulf-based and Southeast Asian airlines but will not jump into negotiations until the government reaches a crucial decision on foreign investment, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
"We have been approached by several Gulf and Southeast Asian airlines, all on a tentative basis," Neil Mills, the loss-making budget carrier's chief executive, told Reuters.
The government allows up to 49% foreign investment in domestic carriers but bars foreign carriers from picking up stakes. The government is expected to make a decision on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules this week.
"There is nothing more serious than tentative talks to see if we are interested. We have said that we are interested in exploring any option for us that makes business sense but until a decision has been taken on FDI there is no point in taking it further," Mills said in a telephone interview.
He declined to name any of the airlines involved.
Mills raised doubts over whether all airlines would take full delivery of a backlog of hundreds of aircraft currently on order from Airbus and Boeing, but said he was not worried about his company's own airplane order from Boeing.
The 737 and competing Airbus A320 are popular with low-cost airlines. SpiceJet has not yet contemplated buying Boeing's latest model, a fuel-saving version called the 737 MAX.