Qatar Airways today purchased two Bombardier Global(i) Express ultra long-range business jets aircraft and signed an option for two additional Global Express for regional and intercontinental VIP on-demand travel. The aircraft will join Qatar Airways` large and growing VIP fleet, which currently includes high-end Airbus A340-200, A310-300, A320 and A319CJ aircraft. Three additional VIP aircraft, two A330-200 and an A340-500 will also shortly join the fleet.
The first Qatar Airways Global Express is scheduled for delivery in mid-2004, the second in late 2004. The aircraft will feature a 13-passenger, three-compartment configuration with a crew rest area. The VIP Flight division of Qatar Airways will operate the aircraft from its base at Doha International Airport.
“The proven Bombardier Global Express business jet, with its exceptional cabin, speed and range is the perfect addition to our VIP fleet,” stated Mr. Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer, Qatar Airways. “The Global Express will provide the State of Qatar with a fitting flagship for VIPs attending to international responsibilities.”
“It is an honor to be selected by Qatar Airways, an airline recognized for superior quality and service,” said Mike Fahey, regional vice-president, sales, Bombardier Aerospace, Business Aircraft. “The Bombardier Global Express will excel in operations with Qatar.”
Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing international airlines in the world. Over the past 12 months, its fleet of aircraft has grown from 18 to 27, and is projected for continued growth. Qatar Airways presently flies to 46 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East, and will offer flights to 60 destinations within the next two years.
Growing popularity in Middle East
“Qatar Airways` acquisition of these Bombardier Global Express business jets is the most recent among multiple sales we`ve made into the Middle East,” said Jahid Fazal-Karim, senior vice president, international sales, Business Aircraft. “Bombardier is the most popular aircraft manufacturer in this region, having delivered 27 percent of all business jets to the Middle East over the last five years. We continue to develop new aircraft, such as the Global 5000, that meet the needs and high expectations of our Middle Eastern customers, and I have every confidence that the number of Bombardier aircraft operating in this region will continue to grow.”
No other business jet in its class matches the speed and range delivered by the Bombardier Global Express. At a cruise speed of Mach 0.88 (505 knots, 581 mph; 935 km/h) the aircraft consistently outpaces the Gulfstream G500, linking city pairs such as Dubai-London in less than seven hours, Doha-Paris in six hours and thirty minutes, or Riyadh-Geneva in a swift five hours and 40 minutes.
Qatar Airway`s purchase occurs just as the 115 aircraft in the Bombardier Global Express fleet surpass the 100,000 flight hours milestone. Since entering corporate service in July 1999, the aircraft continues to set an exceptional record of in-flight reliability. For the 12-month period ending September 2003, and after only 51 months of service, the aircraft posted a dispatch reliability of 99.25 per cent—better than any competitor in its class.
Bombardier Aerospace, a unit of Bombardier Inc., is a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative aviation products and provides services for the regional, business and amphibious aircraft markets. It also offers Bombardier Flexjet(i) and Bombardier Skyjet(i) business aircraft programs, technical services, and aircraft maintenance and pilot training for business, regional airline and military customers.
Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and services company, is a world-leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorized recreational products. It also provides financial services and asset management in business areas aligned with its core expertise. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, the Corporation has a workforce of some 75,000 people and manufacturing facilities in 25 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2003 stood at $23.7 billion Cdn. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto, Brussels and Frankfurt stock exchanges (BBD, BOM and BBDd.F).