Qatar Airways continues to take decisive action in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Robust actions by the airline include changing its flight schedule, working with governments to bring people home, introducing new policies to ensure the health and safety of personnel, and maintaining key cargo operations.
In addition, the airline continues to support Qatar’s efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak and has purchased and shipped 500,000 test kits that are arriving in Doha today and will be donated to local health services.
Qatar Airways Group’s CEO, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “At Qatar Airways, we continue to work hard to bring people home to their families while ensuring robust health and safety practices to help spread the world Limit coronavirus.
“We adjust our flight schedules every day and have strengthened our already robust hygiene practices since the virus broke out. We are not working alone in these efforts – I am grateful for the support that we have received from local and national governments and bodies that we work in close partnership to overcome this pandemic. ”
Flight schedules and bookings
Qatar Airways continues to offer temporary flights to severely affected countries due to many governments’ entry restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The airline will temporarily suspend flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) from April 1, 2020, Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) from April 4, and Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) from April 5, to achieve this, reinstall flights in accordance with the return to regular conditions.
At the same time, Qatar Airways works tirelessly to ensure that those who have been stranded abroad can fly home to their loved ones. The airline works with governments around the world to maintain a strong flight schedule and organize charter flights when needed. The airline has received thanks from many countries, including the governments of Germany, Britain, France, Pakistan and Oman, for their efforts to return their citizens.
The airline also offers passengers maximum flexibility in managing their travel plans. Passengers who have booked tickets for travel through September 30, 2020 can change their travel date free of charge, exchange their ticket for a future travel voucher that is valid for one year, or receive a refund.
Health and safety measures
Qatar Airways has implemented strict guidelines to ensure the health and safety of its passengers and employees. Cabin personnel have received training on how to minimize the risk of infection or spread of the infection. It is thermally checked and quarantined and tested before departure and upon arrival if colleagues or passengers show symptoms of infection on a flight or test positive for the virus. As the current pandemic escalated, cabin crew were allowed to wear surgical masks and disposable gloves.
In addition, Qatar Airways revised the distribution of cabin crew on flights and dispatched two groups on short and medium-haul flights – the first for the departure trip and the second for the departure trip. On long-haul flights, crew members who need to stay in a foreign city can only travel using Qatar Airways-approved transportation and must stay in their rooms, which limits human interaction.
As far as passengers are concerned, Qatar Airways encourages social distance, especially on flights with less traffic. The spacing is also implemented during the boarding process to ensure that passengers are assigned seats that are far apart. The airline also encourages passengers to follow the hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), such as: B. Regular hand washing and touching the face.
As an airline, Qatar Airways adheres to the highest possible hygiene standards, including regular aircraft disinfection, the use of cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the WHO.
Qatar Airways aircraft have the most advanced air filter systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants from the air and provide the most effective protection against infection. All of the airline’s linens and blankets on board are washed, dried and pressed at microbially lethal temperatures and then sealed in single-use packaging by employees with disposable gloves.
Qatar Airways Cargo
As one of the world’s largest airlines and freight companies, Qatar Airways is uniquely positioned to provide humanitarian aid to affected countries around the world.
In February, the airline supported China by donating and flying 300 tons of medical supplies in five cargo planes to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In March, it flew six tons of free medical care to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was donated by the state of Qatar. Qatar Airways Cargo has offered to fly medical supplies to China and Iran free of charge to further support these countries’ efforts to support the corona virus
As part of its day-to-day business, Qatar Airways Cargo works intensively to ensure that the importers can maintain the supply of fresh products and medicines to countries around the world through our freight operations – at significantly reduced prices.
Measures at Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport (HIA) also minimizes all risks to the health and safety of passengers and employees. As an important pillar of the Qatari economy, the doors of the HIA remain open as it continues its activities to bring people home to their families through Doha and to ensure Qatar’s food security through freight.
To limit the number of people at HIA, as passenger numbers are below average, 40 percent of the airport’s airport workforce has been temporarily reduced in various areas, including food and beverage, retail, and ground services. These employees either work from home or take paid or unpaid vacation.
With regard to hygiene measures, HIA has introduced strict cleaning procedures and closed most non-essential passenger facilities. All passenger touchpoints are cleaned every 10-15 minutes. All boarding gates and bus counters are cleaned after each flight. The employees working at the airport were additionally trained to protect themselves and others in the current situation and to implement the highest health and safety measures. Hand disinfectants are also provided at immigration and security checkpoints. A social distance policy has been introduced at the airport, and employees are allowed to wear masks and disposable gloves to protect them from infection. All employees are instructed to change their masks according to WHO recommendations.
Transfer passengers are processed in a strategic manner that minimizes contact with employees and with each other to ensure social distance. Most food courts and food outlets have been temporarily closed according to the guidelines of the Qatari Ministry of Health (MoPH). Some food and beverage outlets remain in operation with passengers after social distance measures. HIA has also closed down retail and service outlets other than a few key stores like the pharmacy. HIA has also discontinued the use of passenger trains, escalators, moving pedestrians, and elevators, and has discontinued the use of prams and prayer rooms.
In accordance with WHO guidelines, the airport has also developed hygiene guidelines that instruct passengers and employees on how to wash their hands, when to seek medical advice, who to tell if they feel unwell, and what to do should be used when they have no access to soap and water, and what to avoid. This content is available on all passenger touchpoints and screens throughout the terminal.
Transfer passengers are subjected to a thermal examination, especially from countries with a severe outbreak of coronavirus. Advanced thermal cameras have been installed to remotely record the body temperature of each passenger. If a passenger is diagnosed with fever, he is brought to the specialist clinic on the arrival side of the airport. HIA has partnered with MoPH, Qatar Airways Operations and Management Corporation (MATAR) and Qatar Airways to set up this clinic to perform medical exams and handle all COVID-19 cases around the clock. The airport has worked hard to minimize transit hours between flights and to place aircraft as close to the gate as possible.