Just seen a C17 Globemaster painted in civilian Qatar Airlines livery.

enter image description here

Any idea for the reason? Is this aircraft for civilian or a military use?


2 Answers 2


It is a military C-17 of the Qatar Air Force, one of the four in operation.

It is in this livery as it is being operated by the Qatar Amiri Flight, a VIP airline owned and operated by the government of Qatar. The vast majority of the Qatar Amiri Flight fleet is painted in the standard livery of Qatar Airways, like this A340 below.

Airbus A340

The aircraft is only operated by the Qatar Amiri Flight, not owned by it. The picture below shows the Qatar Air Force roundel on the underside of the wing.

C 17

Source: www.youtube.com

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So what does a vip airline use a C-17 for? Seems an odd choice to fly the royal family around in. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Sep 6, 2015 at 17:33
  • 22
    $\begingroup$ It's a bit awkward trying to fit a royal limousine into the cargo bay of an A340. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Sep 6, 2015 at 18:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The US does the same: Air Force One arrives with the president, and in the background a USAF C-5 has already unloaded the presidential motorcade. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Jun 14, 2019 at 13:03
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Jeez, what a waste of gas. Can't the prez ride inside in the car while the car rides inside the C-5? $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2019 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @quietflyer maybe something to do with FAA limits on passengers on cargo aircraft ;) $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Sep 29, 2021 at 7:27

It is for military use. As you can see from your photo, the registration code is "MAB" and this site links that aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force:

Current fleet:

  • A7-MAA
  • A7-MAB
  • A7-MAC
  • A7-MAE
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Interesting find! The livery makes it appear as if it is intended less for military use than for promoting the national airline. This is a quite expensive flying billboard. $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2015 at 11:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf I cannot find any data on the livery. Could be used for double purpose: military transport AND civil billboard. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Sep 6, 2015 at 11:57

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