Doha-based airline Qatar Airways recently unveiled a project to launch a new airline located in India by the end of this year, primarily designed to meet domestic demand.
With its 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is a market with enormous and ever-growing potential, and nowhere more so than the airline business. As such, Qatar Airways has decided to invest in the sector. According to the website Business Today, the airline based in the emirate of Qatar has recently announced plans to launch a new carrier in India.
Around a hundred Boeing and Airbus machines
The new airline could be ready to fly by the end of 2017 and will primarily be designed to meet domestic demand, with a network of destinations within the country. It will not be a low-cost airline as such, but a regular carrier with lower running costs, with the aim of attracting as many passengers as possible.
Qatar Airways already has lofty ambitions. The new airline could eventually have a fleet of around a hundred Boeing or Airbus aircraft, according to the managing director of the company Akbar Al Baker. Investment meanwhile will come from the state-owned holding company Qatar Investment Authority.
Changes regarding foreign investors
This project between Qatar and India has only been made possible thanks to a significant change in the latter country’s legislation regarding foreign investment, driven by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Previously, foreign investors could not hold more than 49% of the capital of an Indian company, and thus had to set up joint ventures with partners in the country. Foreign groups are now authorised to own 100% of local airlines.
Qatar Airways had already turned its attentions towards Indian back in 2015 when it tried – unsuccessfully – to purchase a stake in low-cost flyer Indian Indigo Airlines.
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