WHITE HOUSE IN WASHINGTON PROVIDES THE VENUE FOR AN ADDITIONAL FREIGHTER ORDER BY QATAR AIRWAYS
(Posted 11th July 2019)
Signing ceremony held at the White House and witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and U.S. President Donald Trump
Order valued at $1.8 billion at current list prices
Qatar Airways and Boeing finalised a significant order for five Boeing 777 freighters during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday 09th of July 2019.
In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and U.S. President Donald Trump, a signing ceremony between Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Mr. Kevin McAllister.
The order, worth $1.8 billion at current list prices was previously announced with the signing of a Memorandum of Undertsanding at the Paris Air Show in June.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “It is an honor to sign this landmark order for five Boeing 777 freighters in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and U.S. President Donald Trump. We are very pleased to extend our long-term relationship with Boeing Commercial Airplanes. This order will enable Qatar Airways Cargo to grow to become the number one global cargo carrier this year in both fleet and network and is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to U.S. manufacturing.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Mr. Kevin McAllister, said: “It is an honor to be signing this agreement today with Qatar Airways, who has been our long-haul partner for more than 20 years. As one of the world’s leading air cargo carriers, we are delighted that Qatar Airways continues to expand its freighter fleet with the 777 Freighter and we deeply appreciate their business and positive impact on Boeing, our employees, suppliers and communities.”
The Boeing 777 freighter has the longest range of any twin-engined freighter and is based around the Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft operating on the airline’s ultra-long-haul routes. With a payload capacity of 102 metric tonnes, the Boeing 777F is capable of flying 9,070 km. The aircraft’s range capability translates into significant savings for cargo operators, fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower handling costs and shorter delivery times. The aircraft’s economics makes it an attractive addition to the airline’s fleet and will operate on long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe, the Far East, Asia and some destinations in Africa.
The carrier’s cargo volumes increased by 10 per cent in 2018 over 2017 and its products have also performed exceptionally well with positive tonnage growth and several enhancements introduced. The carrier added belly-hold cargo capacity to several key destinations in its network and also received two brand new Boeing 777 freighters in 2018. It introduced freighters to two new destinations in May 2019; Guadalajara in Mexico and Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Qatar Airways Cargo, the freight division of Qatar Airways has witnessed significant growth over the past years, faster than any of its competitors. From three Airbus 300-600 freighters in 2003, today it is one of the top cargo carriers globally with a fleet of 23 freighters and over 250 belly-hold cargo aircraft. Cargo is a very important, profitable division of the Qatar Airways Group and makes an essential and paramount contribution to the group.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted “Skytrax Airline of the Year” title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) to more than 160 destinations worldwide.
The airline also signed a one billion US Dollar order for 18 Gulfstream jets.
This order is for 14 Gulfstream G650ER and four Gulfstream G500 and will add to Qatar Executive’s growing fleet that currently includes six G650ER and four G500 aircraft.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is very pleased to confirm this landmark deal with Gulfstream. Our corporate jet division, Qatar Executive, goes from strength to strength and this commitment to new orders will allow us to offer our bespoke luxury service to even more passengers.”
Qatar Executive has been a Gulfstream customer since October 2014, when the charter service was announced as the international launch customer for the all-new G500 as part of a large fleet agreement that included the G650ER. Since that time, Qatar Executive has progressively increased their Gulfstream orders. This latest one, for a mixed fleet of large-cabin aircraft valued at over $1 billion, further builds on the airline’s efforts to expand the Gulfstream cabin experience around the world.
To date, Gulfstream has delivered six G650ER and four G500 aircraft to Qatar Executive, including the first two international deliveries of the G500 in December 2018.
As the world’s largest owner-operator of the G650ER, Qatar Executive offers passengers a luxurious fitted bed for those wishing to sleep comfortably whilst travelling on board the aircraft, with Bluetooth headphones and a private monitor, in addition to a cabin divider that can be closed offering passengers ultimate privacy.
Qatar Executive currently operates a fleet of 18 state-of-the-art private jets, including six Gulfstream G650ERs, four Gulfstream G500s, three Bombardier Challenger 605s, four Global 5000s and one Global XRS.
The choice of venue also signals the continued close relations between the State of Qatar and the United States of America despite misgivings by other Gulf states which have tried to isolate Qatar and imposed an illegal air space blockade on the country.
It is also a pointer into the direction of US airlines, which have continued to rabble rouse about alleged state subsidies for Qatar Airways and of late taken aim at Air Italy, a partner airline of Qatar Airways in which the Gulf carrier holds a 49 percent share.
Qatar Airways flies daily from Doha to Entebbe, using a Boeing B787 Dreamliner, returning to Qatar via Kigali. The airline also serves Nairobi three times a day, Mombasa four times a week and flies to Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in the United Republic of Tanzania.