New Delhi: Qatar Airways Ltd. may order 100 new jetliners before the end of this year to power its push into India and also plans to announce two new routes to the U.K. even as the country prepares to exit the European Union, Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said.
The Persian Gulf carrier is confident that a new aviation policy mapped out by “futuristic” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will permit 100 percent foreign ownership of a domestic airline, Al Baker said Monday in London.
Qatar Airways is briefing lawyers in India and will seek formally to establish the new airline soon, with a tender for aircraft to follow.
Al Baker revealed last month that he planned to set up an Indian carrier with a fleet of 100 narrow-body jets, breaking into a fast-growing market where local rules previously prevented full ownership by foreign airlines.
Qatar Airways, which is among the top three Gulf carriers, has been exploring investment opportunities in the fast growing Indian aviation market.
Last June, India allowed foreign investors barring overseas airlines to own up to 100% stake in local carriers by liberalising FDI regulations.
Currently, foreign airlines are allowed to invest only up to 49% in Indian carriers.
Notably, earlier this month Qatar Airways announced plans to start an airline in India with the investment arm of Qatar government.