Qatar Executive puts down some roots in Russia

Qatar Executive Qatar Executive to arrive at RUBAE Russian business aviation show on September 11 on its ultra-long-range business jet G650ER (Qatar Executive)

Qatar Executive, a corporate jet subsidiary of Qatar Airways, plans to open its first representative overseas office in Moscow. Ettore Rodaro, executive vice-president of the Middle East company, has told Russian Aviation Insider that this will occur by the end of 2019, with new Qatar Executive offices are also being opened in Shanghai and London.

These new offices around the world will help the carrier to expand its presence in the international marketplace, beyond that of the Gulf Cooperation Council which, in 2017, saw Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt all proclaim economic blockades against Qatar.

Since the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the main business aviation markets in the region, Qatar Executive has been forced to look elsewhere to expand its client base outside the Persian Gulf region.

“In the past couple of years, Moscow has become a leading destination for our aircraft. We have parking slots at Vnukovo. In 2019, the airport requested almost 3,000 charters from us as a departure airport and 1,000 as a destination. In terms of total demand for business charters, Russia is [now] in the world’s top five every month,” Ettore Rodaro added.

Besides, Qatar Airways expressed its interest in becoming a shareholder in Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport. In April 2018 the airline has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire up to 25 per cent of Russia’s third-largest airport. The deal is yet to be materialised though.

Headquartered at Hamad International Airport, Qatar Executive operates a fleet of 18 wholly-owned business jets, including six Gulfstream G650ERs, four Gulfstream G500s, three Bombardier Challenger 605s, four Bombardier Global 5000s and a single Bombardier Global XRS. By 2022 the operator plans to receive the remaining aircraft from its order for 30 G500, G600, and G650ER business jets purchased in 2015. By then, Qatar Executive intends to gradually decommission the existing Bombardier aircraft from its fleet. In July this year, the company ordered another 18 new, wide-cabin Gulfstream aircraft, 14 flagship G650ERs and four G500s. The airline claims to be the world’s largest operator of the G650ER.

Qatar Executive’s service portfolio also includes aircraft management, airliner charter, aircraft maintenance and FBO services.

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