IndiGo, Qatar Airways to enter strategic business agreement
06 November 2019
Qatar Airways, which has long been looking for a stake in IndiGo, India's largest airline, has now announced the two airlines have entered into a strategic business agreement, which also involved code sharing.
In a joint release, IndiGo and Qatar Airways stated they would make a strategic business announcement on 7 November, when the Indian carrier’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker will "talk about the vision and future for both the airlines."
IndiGo, which has a 40 per cent share of the domestic air travel market, is planning an aggressive push, both within and across international destinations.
Qatar Airways has, in the past, shown interest in investing in IndiGo but the Indian airline has shown little interest in partnering with other airlines.
In an earlier report, Reuters had quoted Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker as saying that while his company was very interested in IndiGo and are talking of doing codeshare and joint flights, there has not been any talk on possible equity deals.
Reports citing sources on Tuesday said Qatar Airways was not looking at a stake purchase in IndiGo. The announcement of a deal with Qatar Airways comes at a time after IndiGo placed a historic order for 300 Airbus A320neo family planes, including the newest jet, a long-range version of the single-aisle A320 Neo family called the A321XLR.
IndiGo currently flies to 60 international destinations, including Turkey, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia, which it has added earlier this year.
It may be noted that the agreement comes at a time when IndiGo co-founders Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia are embroiled in a dispute over governance at the airline.