Two Indian airlines have been identified as potential targets for Etihad Airways.

Chief executive James Hogan declined to disclose the names but troubled Kingfisher Airlines issued a statement saying it was in talks with the Abu Dhabi carrier.

Etihad is also reported by the Financial Times to be interested in codeshare partner Jet Airways.

“We’re looking at a couple of opportunities in India,” Hogan said.

“We’re going through the due diligence at the moment. If we believe we can meet the criteria, we’ll then discuss that with our board.”

If any deal is done, it would be a minority stake, “we don’t want to take over someone’s airline,” he added.

Etihad bought a 29.2% stake in Air Berlin last year and has also expanded its global network through a 10% holding in Virgin Australia, 40% of Air Seychelles and 2.987% of Aer Lingus.

Kingfisher Airlines, grounded since October due to financial problems, said: “The company is in discussion with various investors, including Etihad Airways, for equity investments in the company.

“However, no agreement has been reached either with Etihad or any other airline, and the matters are merely at negotiation stages.”