Qatar Airways will soon apply to launch a full-service airline in India for domestic operations, declared its chief executive Akbar Al Baker, according to a report from The Times of India.
The investment in the new airline would be made from the sovereign fund of Qatar’s official investment arm, and would be headed by Indians on the board, as well as its members, the article reported.
Qatar’s proposed airline will not have an Indian partner.
“Indian foreign direct investment rules clearly state that a foreign entity can own 100 per cent of a domestic carrier and we are going by that rule. However, it will be a carrier in India that will be managed by Indians. The entire board, minus one or two people, will be all Indians including the chairman,” Al Baker was quoted as saying.
Currently, there are three full-service carriers in India – Air India, Jet Airways, and Vistara Airlines (a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines).
Qatar also stated it would not be bidding for the debt-laden Air India, which has gone on sale since January.