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March 6, 2013

Qatar Executive to Expand

By Chris Boyle

Qatar Executive jet

Qatar Executive, the private jet subsidiary of fast growing Qatar Airways, will be spreading its wings further.

Speaking at the ITB tourism conference in Berlin, Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker told Elite Traveler the six-plane fleet of executive jets will grow with an order of ten new planes.

The mainline airline is also continuing its growth having added 16 planes in the past year to take its fleet to 121. Al Baker noted the company has 250 planes on order for delivery by 2019 with a book value of $50 billion.

A new service to Chicago starts in April. However, a shortage due to the grounding of Boeing 787s means the service will operate initially only three times a week instead of daily.

The big news, however, related to an update on the opening schedule of Doha’s much anticipated Hamad International Airport. First operations will begin in April with low cost carriers, while the home airline and other full service airlines won’t move until the end of the year when the lounges will be ready. The $15 billion project will have 41 gates and serve up to 28 million travelers.

More exclusively, a new VVIP terminal for visiting heads of state will also open in April and Al Baker said a new FBO would be in place later in the year.

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