Posted on July 18, 2016

Qatar Airways made headline news at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow 2016, with a number of high-profile announcements, showcasing two aircraft from its Qatar Executive fleet and hosting visitors both at its chalet and on board the luxury aircraft.

The airline hosted a capacity-crowd press conference as Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker and CEO of LATAM Airlines Group, Mr. Enrique Cueto, announced that Qatar Airways will enter into a subscription agreement enabling Qatar Airways to acquire up to 10 per cent of LATAM Airlines Group’s total shares, which will be acquired in connection with a capital increase. Both airlines are members of the oneworld airline alliance. On the opening day of the airshow, Qatar Airways also announced an additional order for three Gulfstream G650ER aircraft that will join the existing three G650ER aircraft already in service as part of the Qatar Executive fleet, part of a 30-aircraft order announced in May 2015 by Qatar Airways and Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.

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H.E. Mr. Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is proud to have once again attended the Farnborough International Airshow, one of the leading aviation exhibitions in the world, the very same week we announced an operating profit of 8.6 per cent for the fiscal year 2016. This airshow is the perfect location to showcase our Qatar Executive fleet, including the G650ER of which we have just purchased an additional three aircraft. This, together with the recognition from Skytrax - awarding us three accolades, including the World’s Best Business Class - is testament to our commitment to lead the industry in both service and on board products, allowing our passengers to experience the very best in travel and hospitality.”

H.E. Mr. Al Baker continued: “Our investment in LATAM reaffirms our commitment to enhancing connectivity for our passengers across the world, while strengthening our own financial position after the recent success of our investment in IAG.” Qatar Airways also announced during the airshow that it has signed a contribution and shareholders agreement with Alisarda, the parent company of Meridiana. The agreement provides for Qatar Airways to purchase 49 per cent of Meridiana fly’s shares, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, before the closing which is planned for early October.

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Meridiana is the second largest carrier in Italy, with an extensive national and European network, which connects the main Italian airports with Sardinia and provides connectivity with hubs in Europe as well as in the U.S. and Africa. Meridiana’s fleet consists of Boeing 737s, 767s and MD-82s. On the second day of the airshow, Qatar Airways proudly accepted three separate accolades at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held at the airshow. Global air travellers voted Qatar Airways as the World’s Best Business Class, Best Business Class Airline Lounge and the Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.

Visitors, including VIPs, trade partners and media were welcomed on board the Qatar Executive all business class Airbus A319 and Gulfstream G650ER to experience the bespoke interiors and craftsmanship of these two exceptional aircraft. Qatar Executive is the private jet division of the Qatar Airways Group, and is the leading provider of jet aircraft charter services together with premier aircraft management, maintenance and handling services in the Middle East and around the world. Qatar Executive’s ultra-long range G650ER has a two-cabin configuration and a capacity for up to 13 passengers and the all business Airbus A319 aircraft can comfortably accommodate 40 passengers in lie-flat 180 degree Business Class seats configured a generous 2-2 configuration.

Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 19th year of operations, the airline operates a modern fleet of 188 aircraft flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.