Qatar Airways has set up a corporate jet subsidiary targeting the premium executive travel market segment.
Dubbed as Qatar Executive, the new on-demand air charter service will initially take to the skies with a fleet of three Bombardier aircraft.
“Despite the current global climate, there remains a strong need for the corporate to conduct face-to-face business meetings in the shortest possible time, so travel is still important as is time management,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.
He added that Qatar Executive would enable the corporate traveller to book an aircraft at least four hours before departure and check in 10 minutes prior to take-off.
Two new Bombardier Challenger 605 aircraft are slotted for delivery later this month, joining the recently delivered Bombardier Challenger 300 aircraft. The Bombardier Challenger 300 and 605 aircraft have eight and 11 leather seats respectively, which recline into fully berthable sleeping compartments. The interiors have premium fittings with plenty of space for meetings.
Qatar Executive passengers will be using the VIP terminal for departures and arrivals at Doha International Airport.
“The aircraft have a capability of flying up to nine hours to different continents as far as Europe, Africa and Asia. The personal onboard attention, comfort, find dining and speed at which the aircraft flies ensure the experience is both rewarding and memorable,” Al Baker noted.
Latest figures from the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA) show that corporate market in the Middle East has grown at an average of 13 percent a year since 2000. There are approximately 450 corporate jets based in the region in 2008 with estimates of further growth over the next few years.
CAPA estimated that the corporate jet market in the Middle East is worth between US$500 million and US$700 million a year.
“Forecast growth in the region’s corporate market is expected to be between 15 and 20 percent until 2012, so there is a clear opportunity for Qatar Airways to capitalise on this trend, hence the creation of our new business unit, Qatar Executive,” Al-Baker said.
Qatar Executive’s newly appointed senior vice-president Ted Button echoed the same sentiment: “We know that the Middle East is underserved. But by utilising the five-star service of Qatar Airways as a model to build a new corporate jet venture is, we believe, the right way forward to capitalise on this key market.”
For booking details and other information, visit www.qatarexec.com