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Amir Tamim Appoints Saad bin Ali Al Kharji as Qatar Tourism President

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Amir Tamim Appoints Saad bin Ali Al Kharji as Qatar Tourism President

Amir Tamim Appoints Saad bin Ali Al Kharji as Qatar Tourism President. In a recent announcement, Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar has designated Saad bin Ali Al Kharji as the new President of Qatar Tourism. The official proclamation, as per Amiri Resolution No (85) of 2023, will take effect from its issuance date and subsequently be published in the Official Gazette.

Positive Reception for the New President

Following the announcement, the news was met with enthusiastic support from the local populace, who lauded Saad bin Ali Al Kharji as a trusted choice for this pivotal role. Social media users in Qatar expressed their confidence in the decision, emphasizing that he is the right person for the position.

One Qatari social media user remarked, “His Excellency Mr. Saad bin Ali bin Saad Al-Kharji, President of Qatar Tourism. The right man in the right position.” Another conveyed best wishes to Saad Al-Kharji and extended gratitude to Akbar Al-Baker for his previous contributions.

Read Also: Qatar Airways Chooses Starlink for In-Flight Internet Advancement

A Respected Leader with a Track Record

Saad bin Ali Al Kharji appointment as President of Qatar Tourism follows his previous role as Deputy Chairperson of the same organization, a position he assumed a few months ago in July. It remains unclear whether this new appointment will supersede the role of Qatar Tourism’s Chairman, Akbar Al Baker, who also serves as the CEO of Qatar Airways.

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Notably, Saad bin Ali Al Kharji has a wealth of experience in various key governmental roles in recent years. In May, he was appointed as the Director of the Office of Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

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Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed

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Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed

Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed. In a recent development, Qatar Airways, a long-standing user of Inmarsat-now-Viasat Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band satellite-based inflight connectivity service, has indicated its intention to offer SpaceX’s Starlink Aviation onboard Internet to its passengers on a complimentary basis. This offering will be accessible to passengers with a simple “one-click” process.

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Rollout on Specific Aircraft and Routes

According to an official press release from Qatar Airways, the low-latency In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service will be introduced on “specific aircraft and routes.” The airline has also mentioned that they are currently in the pre-launch phase of the rollout strategy in collaboration with Starlink. SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales, Jonathan Hofeller, has expressed that Starlink is “set to support the entire Qatar Airways fleet.”

This news emerged following the APEX/IFSA Global EXPO event in Long Beach, where Qatar Airways Group’s Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. During this event, Starlink executives met with airline representatives in a nearby hotel.

Changing Landscape in In-Flight Connectivity

The Qatar Airways-Starlink collaboration signifies a shift in the in-flight connectivity landscape. Traditional GEO satellites are being challenged by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink. For example, Flexjet has announced plans to replace the Viasat hardware on some of its aircraft with Starlink.

Viasat acquisition of Inmarsat, coupled with these changes, has led to some Inmarsat value-added resellers reevaluating their positions. SITA, a service provider to Qatar Airways, has already disclosed its intention to exit the cabin connectivity market by January 2025.

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Read Also: Qantas Loyalty Chief Olivia Wirth Resigns Amidst Ongoing Leadership Transition and Controversies

Seeking Clarity from Qatar Airways

Runway Girl Network reached out to Qatar Airways to seek clarification on several points. They inquired about:

  • Qatar Airways plan regarding the replacement of Inmarsat (now Viasat) GX inflight connectivity hardware with Starlink.
  • Whether Starlink will be deployed across Qatar Airways’ entire fleet.
  • Commencement dates for supplemental type certifications and Starlink installations.
  • Which aircraft type will be the first to receive the new hardware.
  • The impact of SITA’s decision to cease being a GX value-added reseller on Qatar Airways’ decision to select Starlink.
  • Qatar Airways’ plans for continuing to roll out Inmarsat GX on its 787-9s.

Qatar Airways Response

In response to these queries, a Qatar Airways spokesperson stated via email that they would keep Runway Girl Network updated on any future operational developments. In a follow-up exchange, when further clarity on the deal was sought, the spokesperson requested the removal of a specific phrase from their press release.

Implications and Future Plans

In the absence of comprehensive details, it seems logical for Qatar Airways to consider introducing Starlink initially on its 787-8s. This fleet has seen recent in-seat In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) upgrades but still lacks true broadband connectivity.

Once Starlink is operational on Qatar Airways aircraft, passengers can anticipate complimentary access to ultra-fast Wi-Fi speeds of up up to 350 Mbps, which can be used for various Internet-based services including video streaming, gaming, web browsing, and more. In contrast, the airline presently charges $10 for inflight access to its ‘Super Wi-Fi.

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Read Also: Qatar Airways Elevates In-Flight Connectivity with Starlink Partnership

Conclusion

Qatar Airways, in its press release, also proudly asserts its position as “the largest airline to collaborate with Starlink.” Other notable Starlink customers include Part 135 operator JSX, Hawaiian Airlines (launch delayed until early next year), airBaltic, and ZIPAIR.

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