EMIRATES AND ETIHAD CHALLENGED TO FOLLOW QATAR AIRWAYS LEAD
(Posted 01st February 2020)
www.ATCNews.org earlier today published a list of airlines worldwide which had already halted or are in the process of halting flights to and from China.
The latest airlines to halt services to China are Finnair, SAS, Air Canada, American, Delta, United, Iberia, Virgin Atlantic, Lion Air, Asiana, Vietnam Airlines, Qantas Urals Airlines, PIA, and Egypt Air while the major Gulf airlines continue to operate flights, endangering their crews and very likely contributing to the further spread of the #CoronaVirus across their network.
As of tomorrow will the US not allow entry to any foreign visitors who have been to China over the past weeks as global infections jump beyond the 10.000 mark.
Qatar Airways now also announced the halt of flights to and from China and issued the following statement:
Qatar Airways has taken the decision to suspend flights to mainland China from 3 February until further notice due to significant operational challenges caused by entry restrictions imposed by several countries. An ongoing review of operations will be conducted weekly with the intention to reinstate the flights as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
As many Qatar Airways crew members have recently travelled to mainland China, these restrictions prevent the airline from scheduling crew on certain routes, limiting our ability to maintain scheduled operations elsewhere. As a result, the airline has no alternative but to unfortunately suspend its flights to mainland China from 3 February.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We have been placed in a challenging operational situation where the airline cannot continue with its global operations as a result of these restrictions on anyone who has visited China. If we continue operations, the significant numbers of crew who would have travelled to China, would be limited to operate on certain flights, reducing our operational effectiveness. We will immediately resume our operations to China once the governmental restrictions are lifted.”
Pressure is now intense on Emirates and Etihad to also halt flights lest they stand accused in days to come to contribute to the global spread of the #CoronaVirus by putting profit and revenues first and neglecting their duty to their crews, other staff and passengers.