"Qatar Airways firmly denies that it is involved in any talks regarding the acquisition of Air India," said an official statement issued by Qatar's national airline.
Ever since the government cleared a proposal to sell the debt-run Air India, several companies have expressed an interest in buying some of its businesses. In January, the government gave its nod for a proposal to allow foreign investors to own up to 49 percent of Air India. InterGlobe Aviation, Tata Group and Turkey's Celebi Aviation Holdings have expressed an interest in acquiring the carrier since then.
Air India has six subsidiaries - three of which are loss-making - with assets worth about $4.6 billion. It has an estimated $1.24 billion worth of real estate, including hotels, according to a report by news agency Reuters.
The carrier's debt has ballooned to $8.5 billion and the government plans to transfer part of this into a separate unit before selling a stake in the carrier.
Recently, the government said that it will transfer part of Air India's $8.5 billion debt pile to a special purpose vehicle before selling a stake. Minister of State for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said the government had already decided to split the debt into sustainable and unsustainable debt. "The unsustainable part will be with the special purpose vehicle (SPV)," he had said.
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