Qatar Airways and India’s IndiGo have signed a limited codeshare agreement that could pave the way for a broader partnership in the future.

Under the agreement, Qatar Airways will be able to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai beginning Dec. 18.

While the initial agreement is not reciprocal, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said it is “just the first step in strengthening our relationship.”

Al Baker said IndiGo may eventually codeshare on Qatar flights, and Qatar may invest in IndiGo at some point, Reuters reported.

Qatar Airways currently operates 102 flights per week between Doha and 13 points in India, with 28 weekly freighter flights to seven Indian destinations. Qatar has less capacity in the Indian market than the other major Gulf carriers, and the IndiGo arrangement will give it access to more seats.

According to data from CAPA-Centre for Aviation and OAG, Qatar Airways had 48,985 seats on routes to India during the week of Nov. 4, while Etihad Airways had 54,712 and Emirates Airline 123,858.

Qatar Airways will be the second codeshare partner for IndiGo, which already has an agreement with Turkish Airlines, giving IndiGo access to more international destinations beyond Istanbul.

Adrian Schofield, adrian.schofield@informa.com