India's largest airline by capacity and the country's leading low-cost carrier IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) signed a one-way code-share partnership with Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l). The Qatari carrier continues to evaluate acquiring a stake in IndiGo.

The carriers announced in a joint press release that the partnership will include IndiGo's services to Doha Hamad Int'l from Delhi Int'l, Mumbai Int'l, and Hyderabad Int'l.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, IndiGo Airlines operates 2x daily on each of the three routes using A320-200 equipment. Qatar Airways flies 2x daily to Delhi and daily each to Hyderabad and Mumbai using a mix of B787-8s, A350-900s, B777-200(LR)s, and B777-300(ER)s. The Qatari flag carrier also operates scheduled cargo flights to all three cities.

IndiGo's network to Doha also includes services from Chennai, Kannur, and Kozhikode which have not been included in the agreement. For its part, Qatar Airways also offers scheduled passenger flights to Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore Int'l, Chennai, Goa Dabolim, Kochi Int'l, Kolkata Int'l, Kozhikode, Nagpur, and Thiruvananthapuram in India.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, Qatar Airways currently has a 57.4% market share by capacity between Qatar and India, while IndiGo has a 29.6% share. Air India Express and Air India also serve the market.

Speaking during the press conference, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said that the Qatari group was still interested in acquiring a stake in IndiGo Airlines.

"But I don't think this is the right time. We would like to expand our relationship with IndiGo. There is some disagreement within the airline, so we will not like to comment on our future plans for IndiGo until these issues are resolved," Al Baker was quoted as saying by LiveMint.

He was referring to an ongoing spat between the two co-founders and major shareholders of IndiGo Airlines, Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal. Together, the two co-founders hold a 75% stake in the LCC.

IndiGo Chief Executive Ronojoy Dutta said that the code-share will be expanded in the future as the carrier planned to offer services via Doha to Europe and the United States. The airline still maintains its plans to launch own direct services to Europe.

"We want to go non-stop to Europe, which is why we have placed orders for A321-200neo(XLR) aircraft," Dutta said, adding that services via Doha and Istanbul New will be used to compliment the direct network.

Al Baker confirmed that Qatar Airways would not object to "giving onward flying rights to IndiGo". He added that IndiGo Airlines was the partner of choice for Qatar Airways in India and the group had no plans to invest in Air India.

IndiGo Airlines already has a two-way code-share partnership with Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New) which covers domestic services in India, flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Istanbul, and European flights from the Turkish gateway.