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Interested in buying stake in IndiGo, not AI: Qatar Airways

Mumbai, Nov 7 (IANS) Qatar Airways currently has no plans to participate in Air India’s upcoming divestment process, however, the Doha-based airline evinced interest in buying a stake in budget passenger carrier IndiGo.

According to Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, the Doha-based airline is interested in investing in IndiGo, but will wait till the time the issues between the budget carrier’s promoters are resolved.

He was speaking at an event here to mark the one-way codeshare agreement between Qatar Airways and IndiGo.

When asked, whether Qatar Airways will be interested in participating in Air India’s upcoming divestment process, Al Baker replied: “We are not interested in Air India. We are only interested in IndiGo.”

Al Baker’s remarks comes as IndiGo and Qatar Airways entered into a one-way codeshare agreement.

In aviation parlance, a codeshare agreement allows two airlines to sell seats on each others’ flights in order to provide passengers with a wider choice of destinations.

Accordingly, the one-way codeshare deal between the two carriers will enable Qatar Airways to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

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.

On IndiGo’s part, this is the second codeshare agreement it has for international markets. The Indian budget carrier already has a codeshare agreement with Turkish Airways.

“This strategic alliance will not only strengthen our international operations, but also boost economic growth in India, by bringing in more traffic and heralding opportunities for trade and tourism through seamless mobility,” IndiGo’s Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta said.

At present, IndiGo has a fleet of over 200 aircraft and offers close to 1,500 daily flights and connects 60 domestic and 23 international destinations.

Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of more than 250 aircraft to more than 160 destinations worldwide.




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