Qatar Airways to launch full-service airline in India soon

Qatar Airways said it will soon move an application to launch a full-service airline in India for domestic operations. The proposed airline would be fully financed by Qatar’s sovereign fund and would have Indians heading the board, said AkbarAl Baker, CEO of the Airlines.

“We will move the application soon. I don’t know really by when because it (the process) takes time,” he said. Set up in 2005, Qatar Investment Authority manages the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar and its assets under management are estimated at USD 335 billion.

It was in March 2017 that Baker first mentioned about its plans for a carrier in India. In February this year, he had said it plans to launch an airline in India with at least 100 planes. “I will not tell you what types of aero-planes we will deploy in India but as you may remember we said that we will launch an airline in India which will have a fleet of at least 100 aircraft,” he had said.

Last December, the airline had said it would like to add more flights to India in the future as the country is an economic superpower and an important destination for it. India has permitted foreign investors, barring foreign airlines, from owning up to 100 per cent stake in local carriers. While a foreign airline can hold up to 49 per cent stake, foreign investment arms can own the remaining part. Currently, there are three full service carriers in India — Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara Airlines.