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Introducing Qatar Airways New CEO Badr Mohammed Al Meer



Introducing Qatar Airways New CEO Badr Mohammed Al Meer

Introducing Qatar Airways New CEO Badr Mohammed Al Meer. In a significant leadership transition, Qatar Airways, the Qatari flag carrier, bid farewell to its longstanding Group CEO, HE Akbar Al Baker, who served for 27 years, and welcomed his successor, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al Meer. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, currently the Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International Airport (DOH) since 2014, has been pivotal in the airport’s transformation into a global aviation hub.

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A Track Record of Excellence

Under Al Meer’s guidance, Hamad International Airport received prestigious recognition, being named the World’s Best Airport in both 2021 and 2022 by Skytrax, an airline and airport star rating program. In 2023, DOH continued its reign as the Best Airport in the Middle East for the ninth consecutive year, securing the second spot on the World’s Best Airports list.

Moreover, Al Meer demonstrated adept crisis management during the pandemic, introducing innovative technologies to ensure passengers enjoyed a seamless and hygienic journey through the airport. He also oversaw the successful opening of “The Orchard” in 2022, a vast indoor tropical garden as part of DOH’s expansion plan.

A Journey to Leadership

Before his tenure at DOH, Al Meer dedicated nine years to the United Development Company (UDC), a prominent public shareholding company in Qatar. He also held the position of Senior Vice President for the Facilities Management and Capital Projects divisions at the Qatar Airways Group. Al Meer’s educational background is as impressive as his professional career, holding dual engineering degrees from the American University of Beirut and the University of Colorado.

With his successful leadership at DOH, Al Meer brings a wealth of experience and a clear vision to steer Qatar Airways toward growth and expansion.

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Operational Goals

In his new role as CEO, Al Meer faces several immediate operational objectives. These include the restoration of services to previously suspended routes, such as Osaka (KIX), Penang (PEN), and Venice (VCE). Additionally, Al Meer will oversee Qatar Airways’ fleet expansion strategy, which includes the scheduled delivery of a substantial number of aircraft in the coming years, including Boeing 737 MAX 10s, 777-9s, and Airbus A350s.

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Qatar Airways

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

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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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.

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


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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