Press reports suggest that senior executives of Indian airline IndiGo and Qatar Airways will make a strategic business announcement on November 7, which could involve a comprehensive
codeshare agreement and joint flights.
IndiGo chief executive Ronojoy Dutta and Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker will “talk about the vision and future for both the airlines”, they said in a statement.
The joint announcement follows last week’s massive order by IndiGo for 300 Airbus A320neo’s, including the newest, long-range version of the single-aisle A320neo family, the A321XLR.
Qatar Airways has had its eyes on the fast-growing Indian market for some time, but its plans to start an airline of its own have been frustrated over Indian rules regarding foreign
Similarly, an earlier attempt to acquire a stake in IndiGo was unsuccessful and Qatar Airways CEO Al Baker has reportedly decided to focus on a codeshare and joint flights with IndiGo.
In the meantime, the airline has asked Indian authorities to temporarily allow it to add more seats on high-volume routes to fill the gap left by Jet Airways, a partner of rival Etihad Airways,
which went bust in April.
Owners are arch enemies
IndiGo, which has a 48.2% market share of India’s domestic air traffic, also benefitted from the Jet Airways bankruptcy. It is also planning an aggressive push into more international
Apart from its extensive domestic network, the airline currently flies to 60 international destinations in Turkey, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia.
However, any deal between IndiGo and Qatar Airways, which could be a codeshare agreement, stake sale or any other kind of partnership, would come at a time when IndiGo’s two co-founders, Rakesh
Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, have been embroiled in a dispute about corporate governance of the airline, sparking concerns among investors it could have an impact on the airline’s valuation and
Nol van Fenema
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