Middle Eastern VIP operator Qatar Executive is set to double its Gulfstream G650ER fleet, following an order placed yesterday at the show for three more of the ultra long-range business jets. Deliveries are scheduled in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Speaking during an event to mark the deal, Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways group chief executive, said: “When all the aircraft are in service, we will be the largest G650 operator in the world.”

Al Baker also confirmed that Qatar Executive will phase out its Bombardier business jet fleet of four Global 5000s and a single XRS.

“Our three Challenger 605s will be configured for air ambulance operations,” he says.

“The [large-cabin] aircraft is an ideal size for medevac services and it has the range [4,00nm] to connect Doha with London – which is a very popular route,” Al Baker adds.

As well as the Bombardier types, the company’s VIP fleet includes a 40-seat A319 and a trio of G650ERs – the final unit was handed over in early July.

Qatar also has orders and options for 30 G500 and G600s. The large-cabin, long-range business jets are currently in development and scheduled for service entry in 2018 and 2019 respectively, with Qatar the launch customer for G500.

The 5,000nm (9,250km) twin is making its Farnborough debut. Test aircraft T4 arrived at the show on 8 July, after making a 3,730nm, non-stop journey from Gulfstream’s Savannah headquarters.

The four aircraft in the flight test programme have notched up over 1,280h during 300 flights. The first production-conforming aircraft, P1, is being outfitted in preparation for its maiden sortie later this year, when it will be used to test the interior in flight.

Source: Flight Daily News