Qatar Airways’ private jet division, Qatar Executive, has received European Air Safety Agency Part 145 approval to provide maintenance and repair services for Bombardier business jets from its hub in Doha. Qatar Executive is already certified by Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority for similar work.
Qatar Airways’ private jet division, Qatar Executive, received EASA approval to provide maintenance and repair services for Bombardier Challenger 604/605s and Globals. With this certification, Qatar Executive can offer scheduled maintenance, repair and warranty services for European-registered Challengers and Globals at its Doha hub. The new EASA Part 145 certification complements the existing approval from Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority and underpins Qatar Executive’s status as a Bombardier-authorized service facility.
The only big-three Middle East airline player to have an executive jet operation, Qatar Executive is expanding its fleet, preparing for the opening of its FBO at New Doha International Airport in 2014, and increasing destination options for its customers.
Qatar Airways underscored its endorsement of the largest variant of Airbus’s new A350 XWB last week by raising its firm order count for the A350-1000 to 37 from 20. The contract amendment also added three A350-900s to its previous order for 17, but it effectively scrapped Qatar’s firm order for 20 A350-800s.
Bahraini flag carrier Gulf Air last week signaled a major shift in its fleet plans, affecting orders with both Boeing and Airbus. The airline has already signed so-called amendment agreements with the manufacturers “to reduce long-term liability and meet future strategic needs.”
Gulf Air said negotiations with the airframers date back to last year, as high fuel prices, a general slump in air traffic and so-called regional developments forced the airline to suspend service to a number of destinations in a bid to preserve its ongoing viability.
The outspoken chief executive of Qatar Airways, an increasingly influential player in the world airline market, blamed the long-running battle over airline participation in Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) on the former leader of the association that represents world airlines.
With unemployment numbers in the U.S. stuck on high, word of job openings is always welcome news. A substantial number of new aerospace jobs have evolved from some unlikely sources this year: non-U.S.-based companies. Brazilian aircraft builder Embraer opened a $50 million final manufacturing facility for the Phenom 100 and 300 in Melbourne, Fla., last year, employing 233 people.
Bombardier Flexjet is again offering its Flexjet 25 jet card program, which is operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions, for the holiday season. The 25-hour jet card pairs private jet travel with no-extra-cost travel benefits from Executive Golfer, Abercrombie & Kent, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Korean Air and Qatar Airways. The jet cards start at $100,000 and provide access to Flexjet’s Learjet or Challenger fleets, with the cost of each flight deducted from the debit card balance.
Airbus is still aiming at a first-half 2014 entry into service for the new A350XWB twin-aisle twinjet, with executive vice president and program head Didier Evrard conceding that the schedule is “tight, but feasible.” In late May, he said the immediate challenge was to complete the first airframe for ground testing and overseeing the supply chain.
Thales’s in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) division has opened a new facility near London Heathrow Airport. The new premises will serve as the base for its sales and marketing operations in the UK and Ireland, as well as for its maintenance, repair and onboard services team covering Europe and Africa.