Qatar Airways plays down Sri Lankan interest: report

Jan 08, 2007 (LBO) – Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways has played down its interest in Sri Lankan Airlines after its current managing shareholder Emirates, announced a sell out of its equity stake, reports said. Though suffering a 4.7 billion loss and badly hit by war risk insurance it managed to survive by using Maldives as a hub to terminate long-haul flights and serving regional markets. Emirates Business, a Dubai based publication, quoted Qatar Airways spokesperson, Salam Al Shawa, as saying The Doha-based carrier is not interested in picking up a stake in the airline, amidst reports of an emissary visiting Sri Lankan facilities.

Emirates Business also mentioned India’s Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways, as being possible interested parties. Jet’s general sales agency in Sri Lanka is the John Keells group.

I do not think we will have any objection to selling our stake in SriLankan to Qatar Airways if it would be keen, or anyone else who would be interested, Emirates Business quoted Emirates Airlines president Tim Clark as saying.

Clark has said he is willing to sell its 43.6 percent stake in Sri Lankan Airlines for 150 million dollars after a 10-year management contract ends in Mar