QATAR AIRWAYS is the latest of the Gulf flag carriers to announce plans to raise new capital, with a share offering planned by the end of 1995.

The offering, which aims to raise more than $100 million, will help to finance the airline's planned fleet expansion and fresh projects in tourism, says chief executive Shaikh Hamad Jabor al Thani, in an interview in the Middle East Economic Digest.

Shaik Hamad says: "The company has now outgrown its capital," which stands at less than $7 million. He adds that the offering could be opened to international fund managers. Existing shareholders already include local institutional and private investors.

The airline is in discussions for further Boeing 747s to join the two second-hand aircraft which joined the fleet in the last few weeks. Qatar also operates three Boeing 737s.

A new division has also been formed to charter and lease aircraft to other carriers in the region, purchasing three Lockheed L1011s from American Express Bank in September.

Source: Flight International