On 5 June, it was with the utmost discretion, far from the media world, that the head of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, was received at the Elysée by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande. The Chairman and CEO of one of the largest airlines in the world, was made an Officer of the French Legion of Honour. The ceremony was held in the Ambassadors’ Room in the presence of Akbar Al Baker two sons, Mohammed and Hussain. The head of Qatar Airways said on the occasion: "France is a country that I admire for its ingenuity, grandeur and long legacy of craftsmanship of the highest calibre."
After the purchase of 24 Rafales on 4 May by the State of Qatar, and nearly 200 aircraft on order from the European manufacturer Airbus, this decoration seems to testify to the excellent commercial relations between France and the Emirate, at a time when the airline has requested additional traffic rights in France.
A few days before the opening of the Paris Air Show, the Qatari company will also be very visible. They will have a chalet, and, a first for an airline, present five aircraft on the static display: an A350, a 517-seater A380, an A320, a Business Class A319, and a Boeing 787. A deployment of stength, showing, according Akbar Al Baker, the "dynamic growth" of his company.