Browsing 'red arrows' News

All photos by Ray Toh

Plumes of red, white and blue smoke and the whooshing sounds of nine Hawk fast-jets filled Qatar’s skies yesterday, as the UK’s Red Arrows performed over the Corniche.

The pilots represent the public face of the UK’s Royal Air Force.

They returned to Doha for the first time in four years as part of a Gulf tour that aims to strengthen trade ties between countries.

According to the UK Embassy in Doha, the jets sometimes flew as close as six feet apart at more than 400 miles per hour during the 20-minute show.

Qatar Airways also got in on the action, with one of its Airbus 350s flying with the jets after the official show to mark the airline’s 20th anniversary.

In a statement, Ambassador Ajay Sharma said:

“I am delighted to have been able to welcome the Red Arrows to Qatar. Such visits are a very visible demonstration and celebration of the strength of UK-Qatar relations. They showcase the best of the UK from the technical mastery of the pilots to the excellence of our engineering and aviation industry.”

Online reaction

Thousands of Qatar residents flocked outside to check out the display. Here’s some of what the saw:

Did you catch the show? Thoughts?

Fatimah Ashraf Khan/Flickr

Red Arrows flying over Doha in 2013

The world-famous Red Arrows will perform in Qatar in September as part of a Middle East tour, the British Ministry of Defence has announced.

Their visit comes amid efforts to strengthen the UK’s ties with nations across the Gulf.

The pilots last wowed crowds in Qatar with daring maneuvers and red, white and blue plumes of smoke in 2013. 

Teilhard Scott

The Red Arrows fly over Doha in 2013

Crowds gathered along the Corniche and at office windows in West Bay to witness the free show, which was followed by a demonstration of BAE’s Typhoon.

At that time, the UK had been trying to sell the fighter jets to Qatar’s government.

‘Open for business’

In addition to Qatar, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows will perform in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Jordan.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the display will help show the UK is “open for business” around the world.

He added:

“This historic Red Arrows tour will be a visible demonstration of UK engagement across the globe, flying the flag to promote Britain in important capitals through the GREAT campaign.”

Exact dates for the Gulf visits have yet to be announced.

Who’s excited? Thoughts?

For nearly half an hour this afternoon, Qatar residents looked to the sky to watch a thundering air show performance by the Red Arrows.

The British aerobatic group, comprised of nine British Royal Air Force pilots, appeared to wow crowds with daring maneuvers, and were trailed by red, white and blue plumes of smoke.

On Twitter, reaction ranged from delight, to confusion, to patient boredom:

Did you catch the show? Thoughts?