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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Qatar's Savvy as Indian Skies Crowd Over - Bloomberg Gadfly

Qatar's Savvy as Indian Skies Crowd Over - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"In Qatar Airways Ltd.'s decision to set up a brand new short-haul carrier in India, there's a hint of commercial savvy that goes back a millennium and a half.Otherwise, why introduce 100 new planes in crowded Indian skies? For all the lure of world-beating growth out to 2035, the hyper-competitive market has already seen the rapid implosion of local beer tycoon Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. and is currently witnessing a painfully slow crumpling of state-run Air India Ltd. under a $7 billion debt load. So what's motivating Qatar to dive into this air pocket? A two-word answer may be: Southern India.

Centuries before Arabs first invaded the northern parts of the country, they controlled a flourishing trading empire between Kerala on the southwestern Indian coast and Yemen and Oman. As far back as the first century AD, Greek navigators remarked on how the Kerala port of Muziris "abounds in ships sent there with cargoes from Arabia.""

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