Even as it waits to expand its partnership with IndiGo, Doha-based Qatar Airways will first operationalise its new codeshare agreement with India’s airline major by December.
According to Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, the airline is interested in investing in IndiGo, but will wait till the time issues between the budget carrier’s promoters are resolved.
“We would like to expand our relationship with IndiGo,” Al Baker said.
“There is some disagreement within the airline, so we will not comment on our future plans for IndiGo until these issues are resolved,” he added.
On the new codeshare, he pointed-out that the agreement will be implemented from December, once the systems of the two airlines are integrated.
In aviation parlance, a codeshare agreement allows airlines to sell seats on each others’ flights in order to provide passengers with a wider choice of destinations.
Recently, Al Baker was in New Delhi to sign the one-way codeshare agreement between Qatar Airways and IndiGo.
The deal will enable Qatar Airways to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
The new agreement, Al Baker said, will offer seamless travel experience to the passengers, who will also be able to access Qatar Airways’ network.
It will also provide health passenger volumes to IndiGo, he said.
Besides, Al Baker elaborated that economy class passengers of Qatar Airways will find acceptable standards of service on-board IndiGo’s aircraft.
On the airline’s plans to participate in Air India’s upcoming divestment process, Al Baker said that Qatar Airways is “right now not looking at Air India but that doesn’t mean we are not interested”.
Currently, Qatar Airways operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram.
Additionally, the airline’s cargo division — Qatar Airways Cargo — operates a total of 28 weekly freighters to seven destinations in India. The top three cargo destinations in India are Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
At present, Qatar Airways operates a fleet of more than 250 aircraft to more than 160 destinations worldwide.
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Source: NDTV Profit