With an initial order of 10 planes, Qatar Airways’ executive charter service is helping Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s new G700 series of corporate jet take off.
Qatar Executive is already a major Gulfstream customer, with 11 total jets in existing fleet — six G650ERs and five of the earlier G500s, for which the Middle Eastern airline was also the launch partner.
The new G700 is Gulfstream’s latest flagship, claiming the largest cabin and longest range of any business jet. Its features include a luxurious cabin configurable to up to five living spaces, a dedicated master bedroom with an en suite bath and a lighting system that simulates sunrise and sunset regardless of time zone to help settle travelers’ circadian rhythms.
“We are excited to be the launch customer of the G700, the largest business jet in the industry, and are looking forward to the aircraft joining our fleet,” said Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO of Qatar Airways, in a news release. “Qatar Executive’s customers have extremely high standards, and this aircraft will help us meet their requirements by delivering unrivaled performance that complements our excellence in customer service.”
The news came just a week after Gulfstream said in a letter to the Georgia Department of Labor that it would lay off 362 employees.
The deal shows how global engagement can have varied effects on Georgia companies. As it has become a darling of Gulfstream, one of the state’s largest manufacturing employers, Qatar Airways’ commercial division has emerged as one of Delta Air Lines Inc.’s arch enemies.
Delta, the largest private employer in Georgia, has accused Qatar and other Middle Eastern airlines of anticompetitive behavior that has limited its ability to compete on certain international routes.