Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) has asked the Indian authorities for more temporary traffic rights to the country to alleviate the current capacity crunch in the market after the Jet Airways (JAI, Mumbai Int'l) collapse, the Press Trust of India has reported.

"Our contingency plan is designed to make an additional number of seats available on certain high volume routes (Mumbai Int'l, Delhi Int'l, Bangalore Int'l), 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," Qatar Airways said.

The current Qatar-India bilateral air traffic agreement permits all Qatari airlines - effectively, only Qatar Airways - to carry up to 24,292 passengers per week to India. The Indian airlines have the same combined threshold on their services to Doha Hamad Int'l.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, Qatar Airways will offer 24,879 weekly seats to India in the week starting on May 20. However, following the grounding of Jet Airways, the Indian airlines are far from exhausting their cap - IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) offers 8,820 weekly seats and Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) offers 4,650. The market gap led to a steep increase in airfares between the countries. There are currently over 700,000 Indian nationals working in Qatar.

Indian airlines blocked Qatar Airways' application to have the cap doubled in the past, fearing that the carrier will route more transit passengers via its Doha hub.