A delegation from Qatar will review the facilities at major Indian airports as it's national carrier prepares to start an airline in India.

The civil aviation ministry has informed airports in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi about the impending visit. Names of delegates have not been shared but could include representatives of Qatar Airways as well. 

"We have been informed that 6-8 delegates from Qatar will be reviewing facilities at major airports," said an executive from one of the airports. The visit was expected to begin from next week but may have been rescheduled. 

Qatar Airways declined to comment on the topic. Embassy of Qatar in New Delhi too was tight-lipped about the matter.

Last month, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker announced plans to launch 100

per cent foreign owned airline in India in partnership with Qatar Investment Authority.

According to media reports, Qatar Airways is likely to select Bengaluru as it's base and has appointed an executive search firm to recruit staff for its proposed Indian airline.

Qatar Airways, one of the three big Gulf airlines, has been trying to expand its presence in India but its growth has been constrained because of limitation of traffic right. Rival Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, has gained and become the fastest growing foreign airline in India, following its investment in Jet Airways in 2013.

Over the past few years, Qatar Airways has been stepping up its investments. It is purchasing 49 per cent stake in Italian carrier Meridiana. In December 2016, Qatar Airways bought 10 per cent stake in Chile’s LATAM Airlines.

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