Qatari Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker toured the Boeing facility in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, February 2nd. Boeing CEO Kevin McAllister spoke highly of Boeing’s partnership with Qatar Airways, citing the tens of thousands of American jobs created based on Qatar Airways’ purchases from Boeing:
Qatar has had major military and commercial contracts with Boeing since 2006 when Qatar Airways bought 22 Boeing 777 planes. The relationship has deepened – Qatar Airways now has 30 Boeing 787-9s on order and in late 2017 the Qatari military placed a $6.2 billion order for 36 Boeing F-15s. These procurements are a major boon to the U.S. economy in areas like South Carolina, where Boeing has a 787 factory with 6,800 employees and contractors.
Qatar has also expressed interest in broader investments in South Carolina. Coinciding with the Deputy Prime Minister and Qatar Airways CEO’s visit, the Qatar Investment Authority CEO Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani met with Governor Henry McMaster and Senator Lindsey Graham to discuss possible Qatari investments in real estate, infrastructure, energy, and elsewhere in South Carolina.