Qatar Airways, IndiGo sign codeshare agreement

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Qatar Airways today announced a codeshare agreement with India's IndiGo, as the Gulf carrier taps into the booming domestic market and the low-cost airline boosts its foreign ambitions.

Sales will start from today with the first codeshare flights to operate on December 18th.

The agreement will allow Qatar Airways to put its passengers on the Indian carrier's flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

About the agreement Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said, “we are extremely proud to secure this strategic partnership with IndiGo, the largest airline in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.”

He added, "Our goal is to work in partnership with the Indian authorities to offer more flights, more frequencies and more routes. Such partnership is the key to future growth and prosperity. Together, we can achieve greater things than we might individually."

Qatar Airways currently 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.

India's aviation industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, recording an increase of 18 percent in the numbers of flyers in 2018 with nearly 140 million people flying domestically.

IndiGo -- which placed orders for 300 A320neo family aircraft worth over $33.2 billion in late October -- is the largest low-cost private airline in the South Asian nation with some 47 percent of local market share.

The codeshare agreement could set "the stage for a possible future alliance," editor of website Bangalore Aviation website, Devesh Agarwal, told AFP.

Qatar Airways has been keen to tap into the fast-growing market, but is not allowed to start a new carrier in India due to local ownership rules.

Chief executive Akbar Al Baker told the Press Trust of India that Qatar Airways was "interested in buying stake in IndiGo, but this is not the right time as issues among promoters are yet to be resolved".

Despite the growth in passenger numbers, high operating costs, including rising fuel prices and a decline in the Indian rupee's value against the dollar, have hit the industry hard.

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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