The names airlines give to certain aircraft usually don't get much more than local attention or a passing mention, but this one could be different. Qatar Airways took delivery of its second Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft yesterday and revealed, during the welcoming ceremony at Doha International Airport, CEO Akbar Al Baker announced that the airline had named it "Gaza."
I'm not going to comment on the chosen name here, other than to note that the name the airline give to the aircraft and the reason it gave for choosing it seemed to have the potential to create some controversy given the intensity of the feelings on both sides of the conflict. I have not seen much written about it so far, however, other than a straightforward mention within news stories. The one forum I saw on the topic had a few posts praising the selection, but the topic subsequently disappeared from the website. The airline usually names its aircraft after places in Qatar. Al Baker said the airline chose the name "Gaza" for this one as a "symbolic gesture to commemorate and honor" the innocent people killed in the Gaza conflict, particularly children.
“The name ‘Gaza’ will fly around the world on Qatar Airways and spread a message of peace and humanity," he said.
Qatar said its first two 777-200LR aircraft will be paired for its service between Doha and Houston. For more on the airline's plans for its new aircraft, including 777-300ERs on its delivery schedule, see the AWIN First subscriber-only story here.
Photo from Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways staff and senior management greeted the airline's new Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft, which the airline named "Gaza," at Doha International Airport.