Qatar to have full-fledged Boeing facility

September 9, 2010
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Qatar will soon have a full-fledged Boeing facility, Paul Kinscherff, the company’s president for the Middle East has said.

“Currently, Boeing is operating from Dubai, but given the circumstances, opening a full-fledged office in Qatar has become a necessity. And it is going to become a reality soon,” Kinscherff said, quoted by Qatar Tribune daily.

Asked about the ‘circumstances’, he said that the number of Boeing aircraft in Qatar had gone up substantially in the recent past and the trend was expected to continue.

Qatar Airways, the country’s national carrier, this year received eight Boeing 777 aircraft and more are in the pipeline.

“Given the massive investment made by Qatar Airways in planes, there is an urgent need of field infrastructure for the upkeep of aircraft,” said Kinscherff. “You cannot keep your aircraft stranded for a long time. That is basic economics. It has to remain airworthy to make profits but that needs manpower and spares for its upkeep,” he told the daily in Doha.

According to Kinscherff, Qatar Airways, which has also placed orders for Boeing’s Dreamliner 787, is well poised for a massive growth in the aviation sector.

The Dreamliner 787 is expected to make its commercial debut in the first quarter of 2011.

Even though Qatar Airways is Boeing’s leading customer in Qatar, the country has also bought a couple of the massive tactical airlifter C-17 Globemaster III produced by the company.

In comments on whether, the American company was interested in selling fighter aircraft like F-16s and F-18s to Qatar, Kinscherff said it was for the two governments to decide.

“This is an altogether different ball game. For military planes, the decision has to be taken by the American Senate. There is continued interest in tactical aircraft, rotorcraft and strategic airlift in the region,” he said.

Kinscherff said the company was however keeping a watch on the developments related to the interest shown by Qatar Airways in the Canadian Bombardier C-Series aircraft, which, according to Akbar al Baker, the airlines Chief Executive Officer, are to be used on flights to destinations within three hour’s flight from its Doha hub.

“We build large business class jets like the Jumbos or the 737s to cater to the elite class in which they can accommodate their entire troupe. But with the market hotting up for smaller jets having a capacity of around 110 seats, Boeing is having a wait-and-watch approach,” he said.

Shrugging off the ripples of recession, he said the aviation sector was upbeat in 2010, adding that “so far the airline industry has bagged an order of 263 planes of various types which is roughly equivalent to that of 2009.”

The Middle East, China and India had helped the aviation sector beat the recession, Kinscherff said, according to the Qatari daily.

The size of the Middle East market over the next 20 years is expected to be worth $390 billion and the world in general will need about 30,900 new passenger and freighter aircraft by 2029.

There were only six low cost carriers in 2003 but this segment was expected to grow between 30 and 40 percent in coming years, Kinscherff said..

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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