Qatar-Italy aerobatics show wows residents
Most residents taking their weekend stroll along the Corniche stood in awe yesterday as they marvelled at the exciting and synchronised aerobatic manoeuvres of the Qatari Display Team and Italy’s Frecce Tricolori, who are in Doha for a two-day air show.
From 1.45pm, the Italian Air Force and Qatari Display Team will perform their last show today. The Corniche provides the appropriate vantage point to watch the show’s breathtaking air stunts.
The presence of Frecce Tricolori in Doha demonstrates Italy’s “special attention” to Qatar,” said Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano, addressing guests who came to watch the show at the Le Veranda Restaurant in Doha.
“For the first time ever, Frecce Tricolori performs abroad in November in a time of the year where they usually do not organise shows in other countries, thus demonstrating the special attention that Italy wants to dedicate to Qatar,” Salzano stressed.
He said: “The great participation of the people who gathered along the Corniche to watch the show, the admiration that we feel from Qatari people - returned by the Italian community in Doha - the warm welcome given to Italy every time, are particularly expressive and make me really proud and honoured to serve as ambassador in Qatar.
“As an ambassador, I think that our work means something when we are able to reach the people out there, beyond diplomatic circles or political and military environments - and this is exactly what happened today, so thank you to all the ones who made it possible.”
Aside from Frecce Tricolori, the show also highlighted impressive aerobatic manoeuvres from the Qatari Display Team, which opened yesterday’s show. Their performance was concluded with the latest aeronautics technologies of Italy-based global high-tech company, Leonardo, courtesy of the M-346 (T-346A) and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
An official of the Italian Air Force has lauded the ongoing developments in defence co-operation between Qatar and Italy, which includes joint training and other military exercises.
This was revealed yesterday by Lt Gen Settimo Caputo, deputy chief of staff of the Italian Air Force, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of an airshow organised by the Italian embassy in Doha and Leonardo, an Italybased global high-tech company.
“We are also offering the possibility to send some pilots to be trained in Italy where the Italian Air Force operates the M-246, a state-of-the-art aircraft, and houses one of the best trainer system. This is an ongoing co-operation with Qatar. On Monday, I will be having discussions with my Qatari counterpart…in each level, we have a lot of discussions being held to improve the cooperation between Qatar and Italy,” Caputo said.
Speaking to Gulf Times earlier, Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano said a deal for helicopters from Leonardo and joint military training was concluded between Qatar and Italy, citing the recent visit to Italy of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah.
“He attended the MoU signing for joint Qatari-Italian military training in Italy; and what we had realised now is that the airshow today and tomorrow showcases the highlevel of friendship between Italy and Qatar,” Salzano said.
Last month, Dr al-Attiyah held a meeting with Italian Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Rome.
Both officials attended the signing ceremony of the operational training agreement with the Italian side and the establishment of the national squadron of the NH90 helicopter in Italy.
In a statement, Leonardo said: “According to a contract signed in March during the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (Dimdex) held in Doha, Leonardo will act as prime contractor for the 28 NH90 helicopter programme and will be responsible for assembly, delivery, and support of the 12 helicopters dedicated to naval applications.”
The Qatari Display Team in action. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
(From left) Italian Air Force deputy chief of staff Lt Gen Settimo Caputo, Italian military attache Col Maurizio Patane, Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano, Leonardo general manager in Qatar Valerio Stella and Leonardo aircraft regional manager Italo Rossini address a press conference on the sidelines of an airshow held in Doha yesterday.