Jet Airways’ decision to suspend operations in the face of a cash crunch in April is affecting the travel plans back home of Indians based in Qatar. With summer holidays around the corner, Qatar Aiways has requested Indian authorities to increase the number of seats between Doha and India to compensate for the fall in seating capacity.
The airline sought additional seats on high volume routes connecting Doha and Indian cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore on a temporary basis and without formal changes to the current weekly seat capacity entitlement established under the 2009 Qatar-India bilateral aviation framework.
“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,” the airline said in a statement.
A civil aviation ministry official said on condition of anonymity that bilateral agreements between two countries would have to be amended to increase the number of flights and that a call cannot be taken at a short notice. As the peak summer season for air travel is about to begin, Indian expats based in Qatar are expected to visit their families and friends back home. More than 700,000 Indian expats live and work in Qatar, where they make up about 25% of the total population.
“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,” said Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker.
May 16, 2019 00:26 IST