Qatar pilots gather for expansion talk

Pilots from across Qatar Airways’ operational fleet gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha for their joint annual meeting at which the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker was the guest of honour.

Al Baker praised the pilots for being airline ambassadors and expressed delight at their pivotal role at a time when Qatar Airways was growing at a phenomenal rate.

Qatar Airways currently employs 664 pilots with a further 80 new recruits undergoing training. The cockpit crew are drawn from more than 80 nationalities, including home-grown talent with a complement of 67 Qatari pilots.

Pilots were briefed by Qatar Airways General Manager Flight Operations Captain Abdulla Ali Johar on the airline’s fleet development. The airline’s complement of 47 all-Airbus aircraft will increase to 54 by the end of 2007.

He said that the fleet will include three of the new long-haul Airbus A340-600 aircraft which Qatar Airways is due to take delivery of during a four-month period starting in July.


The cargo fleet will be significantly increased from the current solitary Airbus A300 to three by the end of next year with the conversion into freighters of two of Qatar Airways’ existing A300 passenger aircraft.

The meeting also heard an update on the expansion taking place at Doha International Airport. The technical building, where pilots and cabin crew hold their pre-flight briefings, is being expanded to provide more meeting space.