Qatar Airways was the centre of attention on the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow 2018, displaying six of its most advanced aircraft, including the Airbus A350-1000 and the Boeing 777-300ER, both of which feature the airline’s award-winning Business Class seat, Qsuite.
The airline also displayed for the first time its Boeing 747-8 Cargo Freighter, as well as Air Italy’s second Boeing 737 MAX 8 in striking new livery, Qatar Executive’s Gulfstream G500 jet and the JetSuiteX Embraer 135 jet.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker welcomed many VIP delegates and senior officials at its chalet and on board the aircraft, including Qatar's Minister of Finance and Qatar Airways Chairman HE Ali Sharif al- Emadi, Yousef bin Ali al-Khater, Ambassador of Qatar to the United Kingdom and Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer Engr. Badr Mohammed al-Meer.
Day one of the airshow kicked off with the award-winning airline committing to purchase five new CAE 7000XR Series full-flight simulators and two CAE 500XR Series flight training devices for the Boeing 777X and the 737 MAX from the global leader in training CAE.
The contract signing ceremony between al-Baker and Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions, is a testament to the airline’s commitment to innovation and safety, a statement from the airline said.
Also a purchase agreement signing ceremony between Boeing and Qatar Airways, finalising the airline’s order for five 777 Freighters, also took place. The deal, valued at $1.7bn at current list prices, was announced as a commitment in April.
Al-Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin McAllister signed the agreement at the Boeing chalet where a crowd of media and VIP guests gathered to watch this milestone moment in the history of Qatar Airways, which has seen its cargo division grow to become the second largest international air freight carrier in the world.
Present at the Boeing signing ceremony and the purchase agreement signing between the airline and CAE were HE al-Emadi and al-Khater.
“We are tremendously excited to be back at Farnborough this year, showcasing six of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the sky. The aircraft on display here have set new standards of excellence in the industry, and affirm our commitment to providing our passengers with the finest experience possible," al-Baker said.
“We are delighted to use the platform of the airshow to meet with our friends from Boeing to finalise the commitment we made to purchasing five 777 Freighters earlier this year. Qatar Airways Cargo is growing exponentially year on year and the addition of these aircraft will only serve to further strengthen its already robust performance in the cargo category. The airshow has also been an opportunity to meet with CAE to sign an agreement for six new flight simulators, which will give Qatar Airways pilots world-class training with state-of-the-art equipment.”
McAllister said: “We are proud that Qatar Airways recognises the value of the 777 Freighter and continues to invest in this aircraft to serve its expanding freight operations. We continue to see a resurgence in the air cargo market and we are confident that Boeing’s industry-leading freighter family is well positioned to meet our customers’ requirements.”
Leontidis said: “We are pleased to be Qatar Airways’ training partner of choice and to support our airline partner’s growth and training needs for its new Boeing 777X and 737 MAX fleet. The future of aviation and demand for pilot training in the Middle East is on the rise.
"This new training equipment agreement is a testament to our commitment to provide Qatar Airways with the most comprehensive training solutions for many years to come. We also look forward to supporting our partner with the entry into service of the new 777X aircraft.”
On the opening day of the airshow, the award-winning airline unveiled its first state-of-the-art Gulfstream G500 jet, which will officially join Qatar Executive’s fleet by the end of this year. Qatar Executive continues to grow its global reach, with an aim of serving worldwide destinations. As such, Qatar Executive is set to receive up to 25 new aircraft between now and 2022, a combination of the G500, G600 and G650ER jets, to be able to offer passengers across the world its exclusive and unmatched private jet experience.
The airline’s cargo division also publicly displayed one of its freighter aircraft for the first time at Farnborough International Airshow. The Boeing 747-8 Freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter aircraft while providing enhanced environmental performance.
Also on display at the show is Air Italy’s newest Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft which was delivered to the airline last week and flew straight to the Air Show – its second aircraft in new livery and the second of 20 brand-new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to join the airline over the next three years.
The sixth and final aircraft exhibited is the JetSuiteX Embraer 135 jet. The luxuriously reconfigured Embraer 135 offers 30 comfortable Business Class style seats. In April 2018, Qatar Airways announced that it had taken a minority stake in JetSuite and JetSuiteX. JetSuiteX, the sibling company to JetSuite, offers semi-private scheduled air service on the US West Coast and beyond offering its customers a very unique and high quality product offering.