Qatar Airways will soon move an application to launch a full-service airline in India for domestic operations, according to its chief Akbar Al Baker. He said the proposed airline would be fully financed by Qatar’s sovereign fund and would have Indians heading the board. Baker, who has been Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive for over two decades, was recently elected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“We will move the application soon. I don’t know really by when because it (the process) takes time,” he told on the sidelines of the IATA Annual General Meeting when asked by when the application for a licence would be moved. Noting that the process is on track, he said the proposed carrier in India would be a full-service one and the investment would be done from the sovereign fund of Qatar’s official investment arm.
Qatar Investment Authority manages the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. It was set up in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses and its assets under management are estimated at USD 335 billion, a lot of which have been invested overseas for a variety of purposes. It was in March 2017 that Baker first mentioned about its plans for a carrier in India.