Qatar Executive, Qatar Airways’ corporate jet division, is the first ‘Business Aviation Operator’ in the Middle East and one of first worldwide to be awarded the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) third-country operator (TCO) safety certificate.
By 2016, all non-EU commercial operators wishing to fly to the EU will be required to hold the authorisation certifying their compliance with international ICAO safety standards.
As of now, operators are required to apply for operating permits from each European country, whereas, under the new rule, the ‘EASA TCO’ approval is a single safety authorisation valid in all EASA member states and outlying territories.
EASA aims to reduce bureaucratic obstacles with the new unified approach and seeks to replace today’s maze of national authorisations with a single document while maintaining the highest level of aviation safety in Europe.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Akbar Al Baker, who also heads up the airline’s private jet division, said: “Being the first business aviation operator in the Middle East to be awarded the EASA TCO certificate demonstrates that Qatar Executive is at the forefront of international aviation standards and that we are setting a benchmark for operational excellence across our industry.
“The new safety authorisation is a testament to our group’s high standards of safety, security and attention to detail in all operational aspects and is a proud moment for the company.
“The safety and security of all our passengers and staff is our top priority and we applaud EASA for its continuous efforts in enhancing international safety standards and raising the bar for airlines and business aviation operators worldwide.”
The achievement enables Qatar Executive to further grow its worldwide aircraft charter business while continuing to leverage on the rapidly developing network and support of the award-winning Qatar Airways group. Qatar Airways also obtained the EASA TCO approval in July this year.
Qatar Airways is one of a few airlines in the world to provide a private jet service as part of its premium product portfolio and, since its inception just over six years ago, Qatar Executive has evolved into a leader in exclusive air charter services worldwide.
Today, the company operates eight wholly-owned Bombardier private jets, comprising three Challenger 605s, four Global 5000s and a Global Express XRS – all featuring spacious cabins, the latter in a two-cabin configuration accommodating up to 13 passengers.
To ensure Qatar Executive continues to offer one of the best products in the market, and to keep the private jet fleet young and modern, Qatar Executive has made significant investments in new aircraft and placed an order in May 2015 for up to 30 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, including firm orders and options for a combination of Gulfstream’s all-new, wide-cabin aircraft, the G500 and G600, and the flagship G650ER.
The first Gulfstream G650ER will join the fleet before the end of 2015 and will offer customers the opportunity to fly non-stop from the Middle East to North America or from destinations in Asia to Africa – further, faster than any other jet of its kind.