In the presence of U.S. President Donald Trump and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar a signing ceremony between Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Mr. Kevin McAllister became centerstage of business and politics while Qatar has been isolated by neighboring UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt over allegations of being a sponsor of terror.
Boeing is in a tough position after Airbus overtook the U.S. airline manufacturer as the largest in the world. Today Qatar Airways came to the rescue when the White House became the venue when Qatar Airways and Boeing finalized a significant order for five Boeing 777 freighters during a ceremony at the White House yesterday.
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In 2017 President Trump called Qatar a “funder of terrorism at a very high level.” Yesterday the same U.S. president called Qatar a “great ally” and said its emir is a “great friend.”
Also yesterday Trump praised Qatar for its large investments in the United States and at the same time, his Education Department was quietly investigating Georgetown and three other universities – Texas A&M, Cornell, and Rutgers – over their funding from Qatar, the largest foreign donor to U.S. schools. The department alleges the schools failed to tell federal officials about certain gifts and contracts from foreign sources, as federal law requires, according to letters obtained by The Associated Press.
US President Trumps sudden kindness towards His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar cannot be coincident. Qatar is a close friend of Iran. Without Iran giving Qatar Airways access to overfly the Islamic Republic, Qatar Airways would have no way to go being blocked from flying over the UAE or Saudi Arabia. Without Qatar, Iran’s economic situation after U.S. sanctions would even be direr.
At the same time, the Al Udeid Air Base is a military base located west of Doha Qatar and is owned by the Qatar Emiri Air Force. It is home to the headquarters of United States Central Command (USCC) and United State Air Force Central Command (USAFCC). In the Gulf region, the Al Udeid Air Base Qatar has the longest runway which is about 5000 meters or 15,000 feet. This U.S. airbase would be essential for the United States in a conflict with Iran.
President Trump knows having an airbase in a country where the enemy is allies of that country is almost impossible.
Will Trump talk to two other great U.S. friends UAE and Saudi Arabia to end their blockade against Qatar? Money always talks and Qatar Airways sudden change of heart to place a significant order from Boeing seems to be a lot more than a business transaction.
The order, worth $1.8 billion at current list prices was previously announced with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the Paris Air Show in June.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “It is an honor to sign this landmark order for five Boeing 777 freighters in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and U.S. President Donald Trump.
“We are very pleased to extend our long-term relationship with Boeing Commercial Airplanes. This order will enable Qatar Airways Cargo to grow to become the number one global cargo carrier this year in both fleet and network and is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to U.S. manufacturing.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Mr. Kevin McAllister, said: “It is an honor to be signing this agreement today with Qatar Airways, who has been our long-haul partner for more than 20 years. As one of the world’s leading air cargo carriers, we are delighted that Qatar Airways continues to expand its freighter fleet with the 777 Freighter and we deeply appreciate their business and positive impact on Boeing, our employees, suppliers and communities.”
The Boeing 777 freighter has the longest range of any twin-engined freighter and is based around the Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft operating on the airline’s ultra-long-haul routes. With a payload capacity of 102 metric tonnes, the Boeing 777F is capable of flying 9,070 km. The aircraft’s range capability translates into significant savings for cargo operators, fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower handling costs and shorter delivery times. The aircraft’s economics makes it an attractive addition to the airline’s fleet and will operate on long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe, the Far East, Asia and some destinations in Africa.
There is a connection now: Boeing, Qatar, the U.S. Government and the situation with Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE,
There is a reason why the U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper welcomed Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Pentagon today for talks on the situation in the Arabian Gulf.