Qatar Airways is expanding the size and reach of its private aircraft charter arm, Qatar Executive, through a series of new orders for Gulfstream business jets.
This includes four more of the extra-wide cabin Gulfstream G500s, for which Qatar is the Middle East launch customer, which will complement Qatar Executive's first G600 – a larger-cabin and longer-range version of the G500 – due to arrive later this year.
From A to B in style
Qatar Executive's Gulfstream G500 not only offers one of the quietest cabins in its class but has a lower effective cabin altitude for greater passenger comfort, with high-speed Internet and its own internal wireless network, through which passengers can control audio, video, lighting, temperature, window shades and other cabin functions with an app on their smartphone.
The fleet's range across Europe, and how quickly it can whisk business travellers from A to B in style, will be extended by 14 Gulfstream G650ER aircraft, which can fly at a faster speed for longer distances than any other jet of its kind, up to 7,500 nautical miles.
The Middle East represents almost a third of Qatar Executive's business, says Qatar Executive vice-president Ettore Rodaro, but the greater bulk of the fleet is focussed on the growing markets of Africa, China, Europe, India, Russia, Southeast Asia and the USA.
Spreading its wings
“We have found great success in the international market," Rodaro says, with the new aircraft helping build a critical mass of business jets to serve its increasingly global client base. “We have already started to fill the pipeline with large blocks of hours pre-sold in the Gulfstream models."
As the world’s largest owner-operator of the G650ER, Qatar Executive offers passengers a luxurious fitted bed for grabbing some much-needed sleep en route, with a cabin divider that can be closed to offer passengers privacy.
The 18-jet Gulfstream deal, costed at US$1 billion, will also help refresh the Qatar Executive fleet as the charter airline looks to retire its older business jets, including three Bombardier Challenger 605s.