IndiGo and British Airways Discussing Possible Alliance

Tuesday, 5th February 2013 at 02:43am

IndiGo, India's largest budget carrier, and British Airways are said to be in talks for a possible alliance, this according to people who are privy to the discussions.

The exploratory talks of possible partnerships between the two airlines have been going on and both are discussing about helping each other sell tickets in each other's routes.

Rumors have it that the parent company of British Airways, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, is planning to invest in InterGlobe Aviation, the operator of IndiGo. No further detail from the informants was available about the said talks.

However, Aditya Ghosh was quick to deny the rumor saying further that no discussion between his airline and the British counterpart ever took place. He didn't issue more comments when pressed further about the rumored talks on partnerships between the two airlines.

Contrary to Mr. Ghosh claim, a person who requested to hide his identity, confirmed that negotiations really are ongoing for possible interlining, a term used in the aviation industry when two or more airlines enter into commercial agreements.

A spokeswoman from International Airlines Group (IAG) also denied the rumors saying that the British carrier doesn't have a plan to invest in an Indian airline.

Recently, several Indian carriers have been looking for foreign investors to inject capital into their cash-trapped airlines. This after the Indian government amended in September 2012 the decades-long aviation law prohibiting foreign investors to own shares in local carriers. In the new law, foreign investors are allowed to own shares of up to 49% of any local carrier.

Of all Indian carriers, IndiGo is said to be the most profitable. An alliance with a foreign carrier means the former will have access to the latter's international network without added costs.

At the moment, British Airways fly to four major Indian destinations such as Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai. It has also a codeshare agreement with Jet Airways that enables BA to access to secondary cities like Ahmedabad and Jaipur.

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