Due to the recent exceptional circumstances affecting the Qatar-India market, which has resulted in a drastic reduction in the number of seats offered by Indian airlines operating to/from Qatar, Qatar Airways has made a formal submission to the Indian authorities to allow for the implementation of a temporary solution to Indian families during the summer travel peak.
Our contingency plan is designed to make an additional number of seats available on certain high volume routes (Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore), but only a temporary basis and without formal changes to the current weekly seat capacity entitlement established under the 2009 Qatar-India bilateral aviation framework.
Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways said, “Qatar Airways believes that the proposed contingency plan is a sound and practical way to address the financial and emotional stress that Indian travellers are set to experience in the coming weeks. We are extremely proud of the great contribution made by Indian nationals to our airline and to our nation and we seek to be a loyal and reliable partner in the face of adversity.”
As the summer peak is about to begin, Indian expats are anxious to visit their families and friends in the homeland. According to the latest numbers from the Ministry of Interior, there are more than 700,000 Indian expats living in Qatar (about 25 per cent of the total population).
The sudden reduction in the number of seats offered between Doha and various Indian cities, combined with the imminent peak in traffic demand due to summer vacation, are already putting enormous upward pressure on costs in a restricted market that is unlikely to offer new seats or re-distribute existing capacity in sufficient numbers to meet demand.
Qatar Airways’ temporary contingency plan, which has been formally submitted to the relevant Indian authorities, aims to offer a viable travelling alternative to thousands of Indian families and children that otherwise would be left without concrete options. Without our contingency plan, Indian travellers will be forced to either choose expensive last-minute tickets or complicated and burdensome re-routings. Not to mention that flying options through neighbouring countries is no longer available due to the illegal airspace blockade imposed on the State of Qatar on June 5, 2017.