Doha-based private jet charter concern Qatar Executive expects to operate a fleet of 21 aircraft by year-end. A division of Qatar Airways Group, the VIP operator is to expand by adding six Gulfstreams to a fleet that today comprises 15 aircraft, the company said earlier this year. As of late February, Qatar Executive’s fleet consisted of five Gulfstream G650ERs, two G500s, three Bombardier Challenger 605s, four Global 5000s, and one Global XRS. Five G500s and one G650 will be added by the end of the year.
“In 2019, Qatar Executive is set to receive an additional five G500s, as well as one G650ER jet, for which it is the largest commercial operator worldwide,” the charter operator said.
In late 2016, Qatar Executive’s flee stood at 13 aircraft, eight of them Bombardier and five Gulfstream. The plans involve a steady erosion in the proportion of Bombardier aircraft in the fleet, as by year-end, the Gulfstream jets will number 13, as against the same eight Bombardier aircraft. Both Gulfstream and Bombardier declined to comment on the timeline of future aircraft deliveries to Qatar Executive.
Gulfstream also declined to comment on whether Qatar Executive would take any additional aircraft by the time of EBACE, although it seems likely that at least some of this year’s prospective deliveries could be scheduled to coincide with the show, as the Qatari charter operator firmed up its memorandum of understanding with the U.S. airframer to coincide with the European event in 2015, and added a second Airbus ACJ319 at the time of EBACE 2016. Both ACJs have now been removed from its fleet.
As launch customer, Qatar Executive is expected to quickly become the world’s largest operator of the G500. It became the world’s largest operator of the ultra-long-range G650ER when it took delivery of a third in 2016, and will have doubled the presence of the type in the fleet to six by year-end.
In March, Qatar Executive announced that it had received special certification to allow it to fly into a number of European airports surrounded by mountainous terrain, now being able to fly into Samedan, Switzerland; Chambery, France; and Innsbruck, Austria. “These destinations have a special designation as they require additional certification, including full-flight simulator training, to prepare the flight crew because of the mountainous environment of these destinations,” the company said.
Qatar Executive took a total of two G500s in December and officially became the world’s first commercial charter operator of the new Gulfstream twinjet when the aircraft embarked on its inaugural flight on January 14. Its airline parent, Qatar Airways, has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft flying to six continents.