Qatar Airways Indian Airline in the works

A long time ago, like over a year ago, Qatar Airways India airline plan was first spoken about. Their intention was to establish an airline with at least 100 narrowbody aircraft in India. Eventually, after the last we heard of it, there was the more pressing issue of dealing with a ban on using most of the Middle-Eastern airspace for them.

However, once they sort of coped with the situation and decided to move forward with life, the discussion came back on the table. In February, at the delivery of the first A350-1000 event in Toulouse, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker commented in the affirmative about the plan to establish an Indian airline was still on the charts. Qatar Airways was long rumoured to have been interested in IndiGo, but the airline never returned the interest.

a large airplane taking off

Now, we’ve heard of this for the first time in great detail again, with an Indian journalist making it to the Cardiff services launch of the airline. India has relaxed investment guidelines for foreign investors, where they can own 100% stakes in local carriers. In 2016, the Indian Government allowed foreign airlines to own up to 49%, so Qatar Airways can easily tie up with the other arms of Qatar government to own the rest 51%.

Qatar Airways‘ new Indian carrier will have an Indian chairman and a majority Indian board. Qatar Airways does not have any intentions of bidding for Air India which is up for sale.

Now, this is not the first time Qatar Airways has gone out of their home market. They have been accumulating traction across the globe for a while. They own a part of IAG (owners of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling), a slice of Cathay Pacific, and others. The only time they had to back off was when American Airlines did not allow them to pursue a stake in their airline. Qatar Airways had also set up another subsidiary in Saudi Arabia, known as Al-Maha Airlines, which never took off due to difficulty gaining an operating permit,  which also took delivery of four A320 aircraft.


We may sooner than later see Qatar Airways enter India with a full-service airline. But what is interesting is the scale of the proposed carrier, which mirrors the size of current day Jet Airways or IndiGo operations to an extent.

What do you think about the new Qatar Airways India based airline?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Thats a great news. But its gonna eat other airlines business & eventually job loss. See what happened to other telcos when jio came in. Job loss & huge amount of revenue loss for governent. We have too many domestic airlines.

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