Gulf carrier Qatar Airways’ proposed full service airline in India is likely to set up its base in Bengaluru and provide connectivity from there to other parts of the country, media reports suggest.
According to Business Standard, a delegation from Qatar is to review the facilities at major Indian airports. The civil aviation ministry has informed airports in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi about the impending visit. Names of delegates have not been shared but could include representatives of Qatar Airways as well.
One of the executives from these airports told the reporters that they had been informed that 6-8 delegates from Qatar would be visiting the airports to review the facilities.
Last month, Akbar Al Baker, the Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways had announced the company’s plans for the launch of a 100% foreign owned airline in the country with the help of a partnership with the Qatar Investment Authority.
According to Press Trust of India, the city of Bengaluru would be chosen as the base for Qatar Airways in India. “Qatar Airways proposed Indian subsidiary is likely to make Bengaluru as its base instead of Delhi or Mumbai,” an industry source told the agency.
At present, budget carrier AirAsia India, which is a joint venture between Malaysia’s AirAsia group and India’s Tata Sons, is the only local carrier which has its operational base in Bengaluru.
A Qatar Airways spokesperson, in an e-mail response to PTI queries, declined to comment on the issue.
One of the three biggest Gulf airlines, Qatar Airways has been, for a while now, trying to expand its network to India but has not been very successful so far due to the limitation of traffic right.
Meanwhile, following its investment in Jet Airways, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has become the fastest growing foreign airline in India.
Published on 13 April 2017