Air Transport World

Exploding quietly.(Qatar Airways)

Barely 2 years old, Qatar Airways is virtually a one-man operation that is growing rapidly, although it is hardly known outside the Gulf region

DOHA--Qatar Airways is one of the world's fastest-growing airlines, although it is little-known outside the Middle East. Formed in January, 1994 by Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani, a member of the royal family of the Gulf state of Qatar, the carrier has been expanding its route network and fleet rapidly. It operates three Boeing 747s and three 727s to serve a system that extends from London in the west to Manila in the east.

Al-Thani has an impressively wide-ranging experience of many aspects of air transport. He was a pilot with Gulf Air and Emirates, Under Secretary for Civil Aviation in his nation's government, in which capacity he served on the Gulf Mr Board of Directors, and a celebrity in Gulf aviation circles. He has made two record-breaking solo flights around the world.

He is very much a hands-on CEO. In his Doha office, he monitors the airline's operations constantly. A VHF radio on his desk keeps him abreast of what is going on at the nearby airport and aboard his aircraft on the ground and in the air. He does not hesitate to communicate with his pilots and staff in Doha and abroad on any matter that he feels requires attention. …

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