Qatar Executive Is First G500 International Customer

 - January 2, 2019, 11:48 AM
Gulfstream delivered a pair of G500s to Qatar Executive just before the new year, making the Middle Eastern charter company the first international customer for the new twinjet. (Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace)

Gulfstream Aerospace announced the first international deliveries of its G500, to Qatar Executive, on Monday, following a delivery ceremony at its Savannah, Georgia headquarters. The Gulf-based VIP charter operator has taken two of the aircraft, as per the originally envisioned 2018 schedule. Qatar’s civil aviation authority validated the G500’s U.S. type certificate in October, three months after the U.S. agency gave its nod for the new large-cabin Gulfstream.

The aircraft will join five Gulfstream G650ERs already in service with Qatar Executive, Qatar Airways’ executive charter business. “Gulfstream and Qatar Executive have been good partners since we announced the G500 [in 2014] and their intention to be its international launch customer,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns.

Qatar Executive also has Bombardier Global 5000s, Global XRSs, and Challenger 605s in its fleet. In 2015, the charter operator placed a $1.5 billion order for up to 30 Gulfstreams, including 19 G500s, five G600s, and six G650ERs. Bombardier is known to be keen to sell the Global 7500 to the Gulf charter firm, but no official announcements to this effect have yet been made.

“Qatar Executive and Gulfstream share a special and strong relationship, one which has grown over the years based on confidence and mutual understanding,” said Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. “This relationship emphasizes Qatar Executive’s commitment to provide an industry-leading product and service.”