Mumbai: Qatar Airways is in talks with IndiGo for a code-share alliance that would allow the Gulf-based airline to spread its network to more Indian cities, taking on the Jet-Etihad combine for a larger pie of India’s international traffic.
IndiGo, the country’s largest domestic airline by market share, did not respond to a query. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, interacting with the media on the sidelines of a travel show in Dubai yesterday, had confirmed talks were on with the Indian carrier. The code sharing would allow Qatar to place its code on the domestic and international flights of IndiGo, which has a fleet of over 60 Airbus 320 planes. The move could help Qatar increase its revenue and network from India.
Earlier, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which went on to buy a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways, had also entered into a code-share agreement with the Indian partner for a few cities.
After the civil aviation ministry recently increased the seat capacity between India and Abu Dhabi from 13,000 a week to over 50,000, the Qatar government, too, asked for a major increase in seat capacity between India and Doha — by 48,000 a week. If cleared, this could help Doha, with 72,600 seats a week, emerge as an alternative hub to Dubai, as well as Abu Dhabi.
07/05/13 Business Standard