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Airbus Shows Off Special Qatar Airways’ Livery on Fourth A350

A Hybrid Qatar Airways livery is painted onto the latest Airbus A350XWB - Photo: Qatar Airways

A hybrid Qatar Airways/Airbus livery is painted onto the latest test A350XWB – Photo: Airbus

In Toulouse, France this past week, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker made a visit to inspect the Airbus A350XWB manufacturing line ahead of the first delivery of the type to the airline later this year.  As Al Baker inspected the A350 line, along with senior Qatar & Airbus management, Airbus revealed a special livery for their latest aircraft (MSN004).

MSN004 was painted in a hybrid Airbus & Qatar Airlines launch customer livery.  Part Qatar Airways at the front, and the standard Airbus livery in the rear, the most noticeable features are the striking Oryx logos, not only on the aircraft body but also on the unique A350 winglets.

The aircraft will soon join the Airbus test fleet, where it will will be used for external noise and lightning tests, avionics development & certification, and training for the first customer pilots & maintenance teams.

Continue reading Airbus Shows Off Special Qatar Airways’ Livery on Fourth A350

Exploring Qatar: A Tour of Qatar Executive Jet

Three of the Qatar Executive Jet Fleet, The Challenger 605 and Global 5000 – Photo: Qatar Executive Jet

Qatar Airways already has a pretty good product on their long haul and short haul fleets. A premium ticket will give passengers access to a VIP terminal, delicious cuisine, amazing crew and of course those comfy seats and amenities.  But how can you top that?  Well what about the ability to come and go when you want, fly where you want and even eat or drink what you want on-board your own private jet?  Enter Qatar Executive Jet:  A premium airline within an airline.

Only one other airline in the world has a wholly owned executive jet fleet and that is Delta Air Lines.  The next closest is Lufthansa who uses NetJets Europe for their private jet flights and even Singapore Airlines has a working relationship with JetSuite.  But there is no one in the Middle East/Eastern Europe that offers an executive jet fleet with the facilities and access of a major carrier, like Qatar Airways.

A Qatar Executive Jet Challenger 605 at Doha International Airport – Photo: Mal Muir airlinereporter.com

Qatar Executive Jet is based out of Doha International Airport where they have a small hangar next door to the Qatar Amiri Fleet facility.  They currently operate a fleet of six aircraft: 2 Bombardier Global 5000′s, 1 Global Express XRS & 3 Challenger 605′s.  They offer 24/7, on-demand service, with the ability to go from booking, to flying in as little as four hours — not too shabby.

Qatar Executive can also be hired for charter work and if the six aircraft in the fleet are not large enough, you can also get access to the Qatar Airways main fleet.

The Interior of the Challenger 605 as it is being readied for a Flight – Photo: Mal Muir airlinereporter.com

I was lucky enough to access the ramp and hangars while in Doha on a quiet Saturday morning.  Unfortunately only one aircraft was available. We had only a very short window to tour the Challenger 605, since it was being serviced ready for a flight to Mauritius — wish I could have joined.  Even though the 605 looks small on the outside (it is almost 20 feet shorter than its CRJ200 sibling), it is incredibly spacious on the inside. With the ability to turn its seats into two single beds and a double bed along with the sofa… it makes it the perfect size for a few couples heading off somewhere exotic.

Big comfortable leather seats, designer amenities, food and drinks of your choice (McDonald’s anyone?), an amazingly immaculate interior, personal crew and in-flight connectivity all add to ideal you are not an average citizen. Also, smoke ‘em if you have ‘em.  For the smokers out there, you can smoke your favorite Cuban, without a problem. They will even light it for you.

A Comfortable Leather Seat onboard the Challenger 605 – Photo: Mal Muir airlinereporter.com

With only six aircraft in the fleet, Qatar Executive Jet still managed to win Best Business Aviation Operator of the Year 2012.  Surely this shows that for a small airline that has been around for just three years, it was a smart business decision.  All those little touches and the knowledge that the Executive Jet service is backed by the main airline makes it a sure fire winner in the private jet arena.  Now that is the way to travel right?

Disclaimer: Qatar Airways paid for the trip to Qatar, all opinions are my own.

This story written by…

Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.

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