Qatar Airways steals the limelight on the opening day of Airshow
- The award-winning airline displays six of its latest-generation aircraft, including the Airbus A350-1000 and the Boeing 777-300ER, both equipped with the revolutionary Business Class seat ‘Qsuite’
- Qatar Airways signs purchase agreement for five Boeing 777 Freighters
- Airline signs contract with CAE and acquires seven flight simulators Qatar Executive, the private jet division of Qatar Airways, reveals Gulfstream G500
Qatar Airways was the centre of attention on the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow 2018, displaying six of its most advanced aircraft, including the Airbus A350-1000 and the Boeing 777-300ER, both of which feature the airline’s awardwinning Business Class seat, Qsuite. The airline also displayed for the first time its Boeing 747-8 Cargo Freighter, as well as Air Italy’s second Boeing 737 MAX 8 in striking new livery, Qatar Executive’s Gulfstream G500 jet and the JetSuiteX Embraer 135 jet.
The Minister of Finance of the State of Qatar and Qatar Airways Chairman, His Excellency Mr. Ali Sharif Al Emadi, said: “I am delighted to be at Farnborough International Airshow today to witness a number of significant milestones in Qatar Airways’ journey. I am proud that our national flag carrier, Qatar Airways dominated day one of the Airshow, and continues to strengthen the important bond that exists between the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom. It is my pleasure to be here today to be a part of the airline’s continued growth and success.”
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, welcomed many VIP delegates and senior officials at its chalet and on board the aircraft, including: the Minister of Finance of the State of Qatar and Qatar Airways Chairman, His Excellency Mr. Ali Sharif Al Emadi; His Excellency Mr. Yousef bin Ali Al Khater, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United Kingdom; and Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer.
Day one of the airshow kicked off with the award-winning airline committing to purchase five new CAE 7000XR Series full-flight simulators and two CAE 500XR Series flight training devices for the Boeing 777X and the 737 MAX from the global leader in training CAE. The contract signing ceremony between H.E. Mr. Al Baker and Mr. Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions, is a testament to the airline’s commitment to innovation and safety.
On the same day, a purchase agreement signing ceremony between Boeing and Qatar Airways, finalising the airline’s order for five 777 Freighters, also took place. The deal, valued at $1.7 billion at current list prices, was announced as a commitment in April. H.E. Mr. Al Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Kevin McAllister signed the agreement at the Boeing chalet where a crowd of media and VIP guests gathered to watch this milestone moment in the history of Qatar Airways, which has seen its cargo division grow to become the second largest international air freight carrier in the world.
H.E. Mr. Al Emadi, H.E. Mr. Al Khater and Engr. Al Meer all joined H.E. Mr. Al Baker at the Boeing signing ceremony and the purchase agreement signing between the airline and CAE. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Mr. Al Baker, said: “We are tremendously excited to be back at Farnborough this year, showcasing six of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the sky. The aircraft on display here have set new standards of excellence in the industry and affirm our commitment to providing our passengers with the finest experience possible.
“We are delighted to use the platform of the airshow to meet with our friends from Boeing to finalise the commitment we made to purchasing five 777 Freighters earlier this year. Qatar Airways Cargo is growing exponentially year on year and the addition of these aircraft will only serve to further strengthen its already robust performance in the cargo category. The airshow has also been an opportunity to meet with CAE to sign an agreement for six new flight simulators, which will give Qatar Airways pilots world-class training with state-of-the-art equipment.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kevin McAllister, said: “We are proud that Qatar Airways recognises the value of the 777 Freighter and continues to invest in this aircraft to serve its expanding freight operations. We continue to see a resurgence in the air cargo market and we are confident that Boeing’s industry-leading freighter family is well positioned to meet our customers’ requirements.”
CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions, Mr. Nick Leontidis, added: “We are pleased to be Qatar Airways’ training partner of choice and to support our airline partner’s growth and training needs for its new Boeing 777X and 737 MAX fleet. The future of aviation and demand for pilot training in the Middle East is on the rise. This new training equipment agreement is a testament to our commitment to provide Qatar Airways with the most comprehensive training solutions for many years to come. We also look forward to supporting our partner with the entry into service of the new 777X aircraft.”
On the opening day of the airshow, the award-winning airline unveiled its first state-of-the-art Gulfstream G500 jet, which will officially join Qatar Executive’s fleet by the end of this year. Qatar Executive continues to grow its global reach, with an aim of serving worldwide destinations. As such, Qatar Executive is set to receive up to 25 new aircraft between now and 2022, a combination of the G500, G600 and G650ER jets, to be able to offer passengers across the world its exclusive and unmatched private jet experience.
Gulfstream President, Mr. Mark Burns, said: “We are excited to join Qatar Executive as they showcase their first G500 at Farnborough. The G500 ushers in a new standard of business-jet travel for passengers and pilots, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Qatar Executive as their G500 aircraft enters service later this year.”
The airline’s cargo division also publicly displayed one of its freighter aircraft for the first time at Farnborough International Airshow. The Boeing 747-8 Freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter aircraft while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is optimised to provide greater revenue cargo-carrying capability than the Boeing 747-400, offering 16 per cent more cargo volume while keeping its unique nose door.
The Boeing 747-8 Freighter is also a popular choice of charter aircraft especially for oversized cargo. Qatar Airways Cargo is the world’s leading international cargo carrier, serving more than 60 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide, with many recent additions to its freighter network, including Pittsburgh, London Heathrow, Phnom Penh and Yangon.
Also on display at the show is Air Italy’s newest Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft which was delivered to the airline last week and flew straight to the Air Show – its second aircraft in new livery and the second of 20 brand-new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to join the airline over the next three years. The new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft features modern and spacious cabins, superior operating economics and a greater fuel efficiency. The first aircraft was delivered earlier this year in Seattle and flown to Milan for its inaugural flight – signalling a new era in aviation for the people of Italy.
The sixth and final aircraft exhibited is the JetSuiteX Embraer 135 jet. The luxuriously reconfigured Embraer 135 offers 30 comfortable Business Class style seats. In April 2018, Qatar Airways announced that it had taken a minority stake in JetSuite and JetSuiteX. JetSuiteX, the sibling company to JetSuite, offers semi-private scheduled air service on the U.S. West Coast and beyond offering its customers a very unique and high quality product offering. In February, Qatar Airways was the global launch customer for the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000. The A350-1000 is 23 feet longer than the A350-900 and offers 46 Qsuite Business Class seats and 281 extra-wide 18-inch seats in Economy Class. The airline began flying its A350-1000 aircraft on the Doha-London route, making it the first airline to fly this state-of-the-art aircraft to the U.K.
Unveiled last year, the patented Qsuite allows passengers to tailor their in-flight experience to their specific needs. It boasts the first-ever double bed in Business Class, as well as sliding panels that transform the space into a shared area customisable for groups of two, three, or four, enabling passengers to work, dine or socialise at 40,000 feet.
Qatar Airways recently launched direct services to London Gatwick and Cardiff, strengthening its presence in the U.K., with two additional gateways into the country. Passengers can now choose from up to 95 flights a week, including six daily departures from London Heathrow, 16 weekly from London Gatwick and Manchester, and daily flights from Cardiff, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
Earlier this year, Qatar Airways revealed a host of upcoming new global destinations, including the announcement that it will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg. Other exciting new destinations to be launched by the airline include Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia and Da Nang, Vietnam.