Qatar Airways, IndiGo enter into codeshare deal; no stake sale for now

Qatar Airways' interest in IndiGo stake put on hold amid feud at the Indian airline

Qatar-Airways-Indigo-AFP Representational image | AFP, Qatar Airways

Amid rumours of Qatar Airways buying a stake in IndiGo, the two airlines signed a one-way codeshare agreement on Thursday. According to the agreement, Qatar Airways will be able to book seats on IndiGo's flights on certain specific destinations.

IndiGo's shares have rallied nearly two per cent after the joint agreement w8th Qatar Airways on Thursday. 

WIth both IndiGo and Qatar Airways announcing a "strategic business" ahead of Thursday's joint press briefing, speculations were high on a possible stake sale of the Indian airlines to the Qatari counterpart. 

However, according to Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, the promoters' feud at InterGlobe Enterprises—between cofounders Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal—has put the former's plans on hold. He also added that Qatar Airways has no plans to buy state-run bleeding airline, Air India. "We have no interest in buying stake in Air India. Interested in buying stake in IndiGo, but this is not the right time as issues among promoters are yet to be resolved," said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

The Qatar Airways's Air  India snub comes as the government plans roadshows in Singapore and London to entice investors for the Indian national carrier's disinvestment.

With around 48 per cent share in domestic air passenger market, IndiGo is India's largest airline. IndiGo promoters InterGlobe Enterprises and Rahul Bhatia have sought arbitration proceedings in London against the backdrop of differences with co-promoter Rakesh Gangwal. 

(With PTI inputs)