Private charter operator Qatar Executive is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, its new head, executive vice president David Edwards, told AIN.
“Our main objectives are to continue to strengthen the business here in the Middle East, as well as pushing our services out into the Asian and African markets this coming year. Our success will be measured in the growth of our business in those regions,” Edwards said.
“Aside from our core charter operation, we are also focusing on the expansion of Qatar Executive’s successful and diverse product portfolio, which includes aircraft management, large airline charter, maintenance and a full range of FBO services at Doha International Airport and shortly at the new Hamad International Airport,” he said.
Qatar Executive (Booth 415) announced the addition of a Bombardier Global 5000 Vision to its fleet in October. That delivery brought its fleet to a total of seven business jets, including three Global 5000s and three Challenger 605s.
“The new Bombardier Global 5000 Vision…has proven to be highly popular among our business and leisure travelers alike, who are looking for maximum travel flexibility and refined tailor-made service,” said Edwards.
“With its extended range, our Global 5000 Vision delivers our customers to their final destination faster than any other aircraft in this class…a special dampening system also significantly reduces the cabin interior noise for maximum cabin comfort.”
Edwards also said Africa’s importance is increasing. “All of the growth markets around the world are interesting for us, with Africa being no exception. Private jets are growing in demand, especially in…areas where the number of high-net-worth individuals is rising, and where business in remote areas is prompting the increase in the amount of corporate travel.
“We frequently serve business travelers, who use our private-jet services for multiple-stop journeys throughout Africa, where airline infrastructure is less consistent. As a result we’re able to maximize the time they spend on the road visiting factories, production sites, suppliers and customers,” he said.
“We also cater to clients who travel to the Seychelles or Mauritius for luxury vacations or South Africa and Namibia for exotic safaris,” said Edwards. “As the African continent is still very much underserved and lacking in business aviation infrastructure, there is certainly great potential for new FBOs. At present we are however focused on our home base in Doha, and the opening of our new FBO facility.”
Parent company Qatar Airways, one of the Gulf’s top three airlines, set up Qatar Executive, its all-Bombardier corporate jet subsidiary in 2009.
Fueled by a positive economic climate, demand for private jet travel has significantly increased throughout the Gulf, and with Qatar as home base, the airline is well positioned, and committed, to the Middle East market, Edwards said. Qatar Executive’s growth paved the way for future fleet expansion and investment into the new FBO facility.
“We have already moved our headquarters to the new airport and will relocate our maintenance activities, including our Bombardier authorized service facility, from our current home at Doha International Airport with the airport’s planned opening,” he said.
“Aside from growth in the Middle East, we are focusing on new markets in the Far East, particularly in China and Southeast Asia. [We are] always looking at opportunities to grow [our] business [to meet] market demands. The underlying strategy is to operate a young and modern fleet and to offer our customers the best available product in the sky.”