DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Executive (QE), together with the One More Orbit team, has made history by beating the world circumnavigation speed record for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The QE Gulfstream G650ER departed Cape Canaveral, the home of NASA, on Tuesday 9 July at 9.32am to begin its pole to pole mission. The One More Orbit team were on board, consisting of NASA astronaut Terry Virts and Action Aviation Chairman Hamish Harding, while the Qatar Executive crew consists of three pilots Jacob Obe Bech, Jeremy Ascough and Yevgen Vasylenko, engineer Benjamin Reuger and flight attendant Magdalena Starowicz.
The mission was split into the four sectors; Nasa Shuttle landing facility in Florida to Astana, Astana to Mauritius, Mauritius to Chile and Chile back to Nasa, Florida, with refueling pit stops in each location. The aircraft landed at Kennedy Space Centre on Thursday 11 July, successfully setting a new world record of flying pole to pole in 46 hours, 39 minutes and 38 seconds.
Present at the landing was Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who said: “Qatar Executive, together with the One More Orbit team, has made history. A mission like this takes a huge amount of planning as we need to factor in the flight paths, fuel stops, potential weather conditions and make plans for all possibilities. Many people behind the scenes worked tirelessly to ensure this mission was a success and I am very proud that we broke the world record – a first for Qatar Executive – which will be certified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™.
Action Aviation Chairman Hamish Harding, said: "Our mission, titled One More Orbit, pays homage to the Apollo 11 moon landing achievement, by highlighting how humans push the boundaries of aeronautics. We did this during the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing; it is our way of paying tribute to the past, the present, and the future of space exploration. The mission has utilised the skills of hundreds of talented technicians across the planet and is testament to what can be achieved when we all pull together."
Qatar Executive is the world’s largest owner-operator of the G650ER aircraft, the fastest ultra-long rang business jet in the industry. It is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the latest and most advanced member of the BR700 engine series.
Qatar Executive currently operates a fleet of 18 state-of-the-art private jets, including six Gulfstream G650ERs, four Gulfstream G500s, three Bombardier Challenger 605s, four Global 5000s and one Global XRS.
Qatar Airways first announced at the Paris Air Show in 2009 the formation of a corporate jet subsidiary – Qatar Executive – as part of the airline’s ongoing robust global growth strategy, and continued commitment to the Middle East and global business travel community.
Headquartered at Hamad International Airport, luxury jet services are available for worldwide charter on board the operator’s wholly-owned business jet fleet. The fleet comprises four Global 5000s, one Global XRS, three Challenger 605s, five Gulfstream G650ER and two brand new Gulfstream G500. The latest delivery follows Qatar Executive’s announcement in May 2015, to purchase up to 30 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, including firm orders and options that are a combination of both of Gulfstream’s new wide-cabin aircraft, the G500 and G600, and the flagship G650ER. Qatar Executive's service portfolio includes aircraft management, airliner charter, maintenance and FBO services.
Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is celebrating more than 20 years of Going Places Together with travellers across its more than 160 business and leisure destinations on board a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft. The world’s fastest-growing airline has added a number of exciting new destinations to its growing network this year, including Lisbon, Portugal; Malta; Rabat, Morocco; Davao, Philippines; Izmir, Turkey; and Mogadishu, Somalia; and will add Langkawi, Malaysia, later in 2019.