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September 24, 2012updated Feb 08, 2013

Elite Travel Exclusive: Qatar Private Jet Report

By Chris Boyle

Jet Focus

Doha, QATAR-Reported by Doug Gollan, Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Like its big brother, Qatar Airways, Qatar Executive is spreading its wings and is set to become a global player in the world of private jets.

With the same philosophy of attention to detail and focus on perfection as the group’s CEO Akbar Al Baker, long-time private jet and airline executive Tilmann Gabriel landed in Doha about 18 months ago and today Qatar Executive is spreading its wings.

Its current six aircraft fleet includes the Challenger 605, Global 5000 and Global XRS, and recently Al Baker signed a letter of intent for a mix of 10 Global 7000 and 8000s.

Currently one of its jets is based in Moscow and typical trips include flights from the Gulf to Sardinia, Nice and Paris as well as “from Moscow to wherever the client’s yacht is.”

While Elite Traveler was touring its facilities, the Qatar Executive team was busy quoting a 50-hour charter from the Maldives to West Africa on to Peru ending in London over a six-day period.

Walking through a spic and span hangar and pristine jet with Tilmann reveals specs of dust not visible to the naked eye. The former Lufthansa senior executive also served as Bombardier Flexjet General Manager, Royal Jet CEO and CHC Helicopter CEP before landing in Qatar about 18 months ago. Echoing the philosophy of the mainline airline with focus on quality, Qatar Executive is making small adjustments such as angling out the walls of lavatories to make them more spacious.

In addition to charter Qatar Executive offers FBO Services at DOH (Rizon Jet is the field’s other operator), management, maintenance and even luxury ground excursions via its sister company Qatar Airways Holidays.

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There are also two new FBOs in Qatar Executive’s future. When Doha’s new airport opens in 2013, FBO facilities will be revamped to create one of the world most prestigious fixed base operations for private jet aircraft.

Beyond that in three or four years there are plans for a more unique FBO facility that will include a subterranean entrance for extra privacy and jet bridges (instead of stairs) to service the regions large fleet of 747s, 777s, A340, ACJs and the like that operate as private aircraft for royal families and Ultra High Net Worths.

While Qatar Airways created menus by a quartet of star chefs including Nobu, Tom Aiken, Vineet Bhatia and Ramzi Choueiri, Qatar Executive already caters to extensive dietary and discretionary catering requirements. As part of Qatar Executive’s personalized service, passengers can request individual menus, even up to certain signature dishes from fine restaurants and Five Star hotel-no matter if it is a traditional local dish or a rare delicacy, a birthday cake or a rare Champagne bottle.

While many of its missions are long-haul, Qatar Executive also has customers who fly Qatar Airways to Doha and then connect to private jet principally to hard to reach oil destinations in Africa but also to Indian Ocean resorts.

During the EBACE business jet conference in Switzerland recently, Qatar Executive and Qatar Airways announced an extensive partnership with Bombardier Flexjet where former Lufthansa executive Fred Reid is CEO. In addition to providing Flexjet services and “white glove” transfers to Qatar Airways’ passengers arriving in North America, and private flying in Europe and the Middle East for Flexjet clients, there is a direct synergy between Qatar Executive and Flexjet. For example, arriving nonstop from Europe or the Middle East, Qatar Executive flight crew are subject to minimum rest periods. In these cases if the customer wants to be on the move sooner, Flexjet will be ready.

In terms of spreading its wings, expect more similar types of agreements as Qatar Executive follows the mainline airline to build a global footprint.

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