State-owned carrier of Qatar, Qatar Airways, will start a new domestic airline in India, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Akbar Al Baker announced on Wednesday.
While he did not elaborate on the plans, Al Baker, responding to media queries at an event in Berlin, said the airline would partner with his government’s investment arm, Qatar Investment Authority, and soon make an application to the Indian government for approval. This would make it India’s first fully owned foreign airline.
In the past, Qatar Airways has repeatedly expressed a desire to invest in IndiGo, the country’s largest domestic airline.
Sources said Qatar Airways signed a letter of intent to purchase 60 Boeing 737 Max aircraft last October; some of these could be for the new airline in India.
IndiGo declined to comment on Al Baker’s announcement.
“An informal discussion happened with the Qatar Airwaysauthorities when the government requested them to consider starting an airline in India, but nothing has been finalised,” a senior civil aviation ministry official said. Read more