QATAR Airways is in talks with Indian LCC IndiGo for a collaboration, but has no definite plans for a stake purchase.
Asked if the carrier intends to buy out any airline in India following Etihad Airways’ recent stake purchase of Jet Airways, CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are initiating discussions with IndiGo, the most well run airline in India, and will let the process proceed to its best conclusion. We respect the need to look at our bottom line as well as that of our industry partners.”
Qatar Airways revealed that the grounding of its five Boeing 787 Dreamliners earlier this year on safety concerns (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 17, 2013) had cost it US$200 million.
Two Dreamliners have since resumed operations, with the remaining three to be deployed later this month. Qatar is now seeking compensation from Boeing.
Nonetheless, Al Baker said they were planning to add another five more Dreamliners by the end of this year.
The airline has announced route expansion plans to Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and will begin a four-times-weekly service to Clark International Airport in the Philippines in October.
The commissioning of Hamad International Airport in Doha by 4Q2013 will also increase the emirate’s passenger throughput capacity to 28 million annually.