Qatar Airways and IndiGo Airlines to Commence Codeshare Pact from December
The Indian aviation sector holds a plethora of unexplored opportunities. Recently, the Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, expressed the company’s desire to improve business relations with one of India’s largest airlines, IndiGo airlines.
Focusing on improving future opportunities in India, the Gulf carrier has signed a code share pact with IndiGo. Currently, Qatar Airways, with its hub in Doha, runs 102 weekly flights to 13 destinations in India. The airline has cargo division with 28 weekly freighters to seven places in the country.
The codeshare pact with IndiGo airlines will be actualised in the month of December.
On being questioned about plans to set up an airline in India, Baker said that it could be thought about, provided there is a very business-friendly environment in the aviation sector in India “which we don’t think it is”.
Refusing to give further details, Baker said, “At the moment, I cannot say very much because we still have to work to get our systems compatible with each other for passengers from both airlines to be able to utilise this code share potential.”
As per the agreement, the world’s best airlines, Qatar Airways, would place its code on IndiGo airlines flights between Doha and three more destinations, including Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Speaking of the benefits to IndiGo airlines, Baker said, “This is the first step of making a stronger commercial relationship with IndiGo. This code share on three destinations from India to Qatar will be a very big boost to the volume of passengers that IndiGo carries.”
This agreement is one among the many other that IndiGo has adopted in order to expand its sphere in the international markets. As announced, the IndiGo airlines flights will have the code “QR” of Qatar Airways.
Prior to this, IndiGo signed an agreement with Turkish Airlines to tap destinations in Europe like Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, Athens and Brussels. Because of the diplomatic relationships between India and Turkey, the airline has been looking for another partner. Recently, it purchased 300 planes of different kinds from Airbus, that will help it become more self-sufficient and reach some European destinations without third party help.
Aiming to further expansion, Qatar is also purchasing stakes worldwide starting from International Airlines Group (IAG), LATAM Airlines Group, Cathay Pacific and Air Italy. In 2018, Qatar Airways acquired five percent stake in China Southern.
Recently, Akbar Al Baker accused the architects of Singapore’s Changi Airport of copying the design plans of Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (HIA). Emphasising uniqueness of the design, Baker said that the blueprint of the main airport of Doha has been in the works since past six years.
At the unveiling of HIA, Baker said, “You will realize that somebody copied our design, which was already on the table nearly six years ago… We had individuals from that country, I will not name it, that took our design and did it.”
In response to this, the CEO of Changi Airport claimed that the design of their project was first conceptualised seven years ago in 2012. Moreover, their architects have never been to Qatar nor worked with any Qatari clients.
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