Qatar Airways reiterated 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”.
However, he did not specify what kind of planes will be introduced in India. Baker made this statement while taking delivery of Airbus A350-1000 in Toulouse on Tuesday.
The confirmation comes a year after Al Baker had said that he along with Qatar government’s investment arm will start a domestic airline in India.
Qatar has not yet made an applied 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 is interested 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, there might be a possibility of Qatar Airways tying up with an Indian carrier.
“Launching a new airline makes little sense as big Indian airports like Delhi and Mumbai have hardly any slots due to a crippling infra crunch. On the other hand, buying AI means getting its slots not just in Indian airports but also abroad,” said a source.