|Dear ATCNews Readers,
Qatar Airways has been connecting people and places since 1994. Since then, millions of you have entrusted us to fly you safely to the people and places you care about.
I am grateful for this trust, which I know must be continually earned. That is why I wanted to personally update you, our valued customer, on how Qatar Airways is responding to COVID-19.
Today, we find ourselves, along with the rest of the world, in an unprecedented situation. Having been with this airline since its very early days, I have seen the business through many challenges, but these circumstances are unparalleled.
During this time, our top priority is the safety of our customers, employees, and the communities in which we serve.
Safe operations, flexible bookings
First, I want to assure you that we are working very closely with national and international authorities at this time. We plan our service operations and set our policies and procedures in line with their guidelines, with no exceptions.
Like other airlines, we are temporarily suspending flights to many countries to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It is our intention to reinstate these flights when we return to regular conditions.
To make life easier for our customers during these challenging times, we introduced a new, flexible travel with confidence policy. If you book tickets for travel up to 30 September 2020, you can alter your travel date free of charge, exchange your ticket for a future travel voucher, or get a refund.
Taking you home safely
While most people have cancelled upcoming travel plans to stay safe at home, for some this was not an option. The rapid increase in entry restrictions and flight cancellations left hundreds and thousands of people stranded abroad.
At Qatar Airways, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that those stranded abroad can fly home to their loved ones. Working with governments around the world to maintain a strong schedule of flights, and organising charter flights where needed, we have helped over one million people get home safely.
When people are flying with us, they can expect the highest possible hygiene standards. We deliver against this through regularly disinfected aircraft, using IATA and WHO recommended cleaning products, and offer robust training to staff. We have increased the frequency of cleaning on our aircraft, global lounge network, and here at Hamad International Airport.
Thanks to our employees
It goes without saying that this would not have been possible without our employees – especially our crew and ground staff. I am extremely grateful for their hard work and dedication.
Their safety is vital, which is why we introduced additional precautionary measures.
Our crew now wear masks and disposable gloves and we have introduced training to minimise their chances of contracting or spreading the infection.
They are thermally screened when they arrive back into Doha, and are quarantined and tested if any colleagues or passengers on a flight show any symptoms of infection or test positive for the virus.
Supporting supply chains
In a global economy, it is vital that food and medical supplies can reach people around the world.
Qatar Airways Cargo has played an important role, and during this difficult time we continue to provide the transportation of fresh food produce, as well as medical supplies at a discounted rate.
In the past month alone, the airline has transported over 50 million kg of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions around the globe.
I would like to thank you once again for your continued trust and confidence in Qatar Airways at this time. Although the path ahead may seem uncertain, I have no doubt that we will get through this crisis. As an airline, we will continue to put the safety of our customers at the heart of everything we do.
Travel will remain an essential part of life, both yours and ours. Until we can welcome you onboard again, I wish you good safety and health.
|Akbar Al Baker
Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways Group