Al-Baker: India ‘crucial’ for Qatar Airways plans

India, which is now the fourth largest civil aviation market in the world, is a crucial market for Qatar Airways, said the airline’s group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker.

With the Indian government planning to invest in developing more than 20 major airports and several smaller airports over the next five years, it’s a very exciting time for the aviation industry in India, and we look forward to discussing these topics this week in Mumbai. I am very pleased to be in India once again to be able to participate in this important panel discussion, al-Baker said at the Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai.

India has become the fourth largest civil aviation market after the US, China and Japan.

Al-Baker addressed key leaders of the aviation industry, including senior airline and airport executives as well as government officials and senior dignitaries in a panel discussion titled Airports of the Future and Building Great Aviation Business.

Alongside al-Baker on the panel were key industry influencers, including director general of International Air Transport Association, Alexandre de Juniac and speakers from around the world of aviation. The session focused on the need for development and modernisation of aviation infrastructure in India, as well as identifying financial opportunities by governments globally and introducing new policy innovation that can increase the financial sustainability of low-traffic airports.

The panel discussed these challenges, as well as how to build great aviation businesses that meet customer expectations while still delivering return on investment.

A high-level Qatari delegation led by HE the Minister of Transport Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti, which also included the chairman of Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority ,HE Mr. Abdullah bin Nasser Turki al-Subaey besides al-Baker attended the two-day Global Aviation Summit.

Qatar Airways currently operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram.

The airline’s cargo division, Qatar Airways Cargo, currently operates a total of 26 weekly freighters to seven destinations in India.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority