Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Qatar Airways reiterates it will launch airline in India with 'at least 100 planes'

New Delhi: Qatar Airways on Tuesday reaffirmed its plans to start an airline in India. The airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, told the media in France “we will launch an airline in India which will have a fleet of at least 100 aircraft”. He did not specify what type of planes will be deployed in India. Baker made this statement while taking delivery of Airbus A350-1000 in Toulouse on Tuesday.
The reiteration comes exactly a year after Al Baker had said that he along with Qatar government’s investment arm will start a domestic airline in India.
Till recently, Qatar had not made an application to start an airline in India. Last March, he had made that statement in Berlin. An airline spokesperson had then said the application will be made soon.
Qatar Airways has been keen to pick up a stake in IndiGo for years but the Indian low cost carrier has been “politely declining” the same. Now with Air India being privatised, industry insiders think there are chances of Qatar Airways tying up with an Indian carrier to bid for the Maharaja. The airline has not commented on this issue so far.
20/02/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India