IndiGo and Qatar Airways will announce strategic agreement

NEW DELHI: India's largest airline, IndiGo, and Qatar Airways will make a strategic commercial announcement on Thursday, which the media said would imply a code-share agreement.

IndiGo shares, which rose up to 5% early in the day, reduced those gains to rise 1% in the afternoon.

In the past, Qatar has shown interest in investing in IndiGo, but the Indian airline has resisted.

We are very interested in IndiGo ... We are talking with IndiGo about sharing codes, joint flights but not yet a shareholding in the airline, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker told Reuters in an interview in August .

Al Baker said they had talked to IndiGo but that the airline was not yet ready to accept a foreign investor. When he was ready, Qatar would be interested, he had said at the time.

Television news agencies, citing other sources, said Tuesday that Qatar Airways was not considering a purchase of IndiGo participation.

However, any agreement would come at a time when the two co-founders of IndiGo, Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, were involved in a dispute over the corporate governance of the airline, which raised concerns among investors that it could have an impact. in the valuation of the airline and strategy.

IndiGo, which has about 40% share in the domestic market, is planning an aggressive boost towards more international destinations.

The airline's executive director, Ronojoy Dutta, and Al Baker would talk about the vision and future of both airlines, they said in the statement.

Last week, IndiGo placed a historic order for 300 aircraft of the Airbus A320neo family, including the newest aircraft, a long-range version of the A320 Neo single-aisle family called A321XLR.

IndiGo flies to 60 international destinations, including Turkey, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia, which it added this year.