Qatar Executive, the corporate jet arm of Qatar Airways, has shown off its upcoming aircraft, the Gulfstream G700, at an event in Doha.
Qatar Executive is the launch customer for the new private jet, with the world’s first G700 touching down for a demonstration by the manufacturer.
The G700 is a fast, ultra-long range jet that can reach speeds of Mach 0.9 or 1111 km/h. Qatar Executive will be the launch customer for the jet, taking delivery of the first of 10 on order in 2022.
The US-built plane features new Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines and can fly 7500 nautical miles (13,890 kilometres) non-stop – not quite far enough to cover the distance from Perth to London non-stop (14,498 kilometres), which has been commercially flown by Qantas using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, but the G700 will fly from Doha to New York in about 12 hours, according to the airline.
The first version of the $US75 million ($A102 million) jet features an interior designed to Qatar’s specifications. According to the airline, it features the most spacious cabin in the industry, with “an extra-large galley with lounge or crew compartment, up to five living areas and a spacious, unparalleled grand suite with en suite washroom”.
(Take a look inside the G700 in the photo gallery above)
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It also features a new lighting system designed to mimic circadian rhythms, to help travellers sleep on long-haul flights.
Qatar Airways group chief executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker, said Qatar Executive had seen exponential growth since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The average monthly block hours reserved grew by 76 per cent year-over-year and the booking inquiries increased by more than a 100 per cent,” he said.
Qatar Executive is already the largest owner-operator of the G700’s predecessor, the G650ER, with seven of that aircraft currently in their fleet and eight more to be delivered within the next 10 months.
Private jets have become a popular mode of transport during the pandemic for the rich and famous, including to Australia.
According to a Vanity Fair article earlier this month, luxury corporate jet provider VistaJet, has seen a 184 per cent increase in private flights between the US and Europe over the past 12 months, with 71 per cent of requests coming from people who had not previously used private jets.
Statistics showed more than 100 private jets had flown into Australia between April 2021 and May this year, despite international borders being closed. The vast majority of flights came from the US.