The Business Year

Kuljit Ghata-Aura President of Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) Boeing

QATAR - Transport

Kuljit Ghata-Aura

President of Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META), Boeing

Bio

Kuljit Ghata-Aura is the President of Middle East, Turkey, and Africa at Boeing. He joined Boeing in 2010 and has occupied a range of leadership positions. Before Boeing, he was founding partner at Eversheds in Abu Dhabi and spent 13 years practicing law in London. He is a graduate of Oxford University.

Boeing has played an important role in the development of the Qatari aerospace sector and encouraging young Qataris to develop careers in aviation.
Boeing has been present in the Middle East for the last 70 years. Which has been its major contribution for transforming the Middle East into a global air transport hub?

Boeing enjoys a strong partnership with the Middle East region that goes back over 77 years. Our partnership with the state of Qatar spans over nearly two decades. We currently employ 264 employees in Qatar, and we are committed to supporting Qatar National Vision 2030. We are proud to support the Qatari armed forces, supplying iconic products such as the C-17 transport aircraft, the F-15 fighter, and the Apache helicopter. Qatar Airways is one of Boeing’s most valued partners, and we recently announced two very significant deals for the new 777X freighter and 737-10 aircraft. We are proud to support Qatar Airways in its 25th anniversary year. Boeing has also been collaborating with research, education and government institutions in Qatar on a range of initiatives that promote STEM education, as well as entrepreneurship. Over 4,400 students have benefitted from the community engagement programs we have organized with the support of INJAZ Al-Arab. Boeing has been a research partner of the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, since 2013. To date, we have co-hosted six machine learning and data analytics symposiums. The Qatar University – College of Engineering (QU-CENG), has been one of our other important academic partners. Through Boeing’s support, students of the college have access to new programs and tools. One of the initiatives with QU-CENG that really stands out is the iLearnspace we launched in 2021. More than 200 female architecture students have used the space to design and model their ideas and aspirations using VR/AR technology. iLearnspace has also hosted many Qatari high school students to explore the college’s STEM initiatives. It is a nice way to reflect the importance virtual and augmented reality plays in designing the next generation of Boeing aircraft.

How is Boeing committed to enhancing the defense, space, and security business in Qatar?

Boeing has supplied the Qatari armed forces with the C17 Globemaster III transport aircraft and Apache AH-64E helicopters, and provides training and support in the defense sector. In 2017, the US Department of Defense awarded Boeing a contract to manufacture 36 F-15 fighter jets for the QEAF. We have started deliveries of the Qatar Advanced F-15 jets earlier in 2022 and expect the second batched to be delivered later this year. The F-15 offers the world’s most advanced technologies and delivers more payload to the fight, more speed to target and more range than any fighter in the world.

Currently, Qatar Airways has a backlog of more than 100 Boeing airplanes. To what features does the company attributes this success to?

Boeing has built long-standing relations with both the State of Qatar and Qatar Airways; we deeply value these partnerships, and are committed to building on them for mutual benefit. Our partnership with Qatar Airways was established in May 2006, and today Qatar Airways operates an extensive fleet of passenger and cargo aircraft. Qatar Airway’s latest orders for 777-8 freighters and 737-10 passenger aircraft are significant for Boeing, and will provide Qatar Airways with one of the most advanced and most efficient passenger and cargo fleets in the region. These new aircraft will position the Qatar Airways for significant and sustainable growth in the future, and Boeing shares their confidence in the potential of commercial aviation in the region.

How is Boeing working with the government to ensure future advancements in the country’s defense and services capabilities?

DIMDEX 2022 is a key international platform for Boeing to highlight both the present and future capabilities of its diverse product portfolio that supports the region’s needs. DIMDEX is an important opportunity for us to demonstrate how our technology is being used by the Qatari military. For example, the QEAF’s fleet of eight C-17 Globemaster IIIs has become a familiar sight supporting disaster relief and other humanitarian operations around the world, symbolizing the generosity of Qatar and its people.

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