SOMALIA SET TO WELCOME QATAR AIRWAYS BACK AS UGANDA REMAINS IN THE AVIATION COLD
(Posted 30th August 2020)
Qatar Airways is pleased to announce the resumption of three-weekly flights to Mogadishu, Somalia from 06th of September 2020. Service to the capital city of Somalia will be operated by an Airbus A320 featuring 12 seats in Business class and 120 seats in Economy class.
The award-winning airline will operate this service as a tagged flight to its existing operations to Djibouti which resumed last month. The resumption of three-weekly flights to Mogadishu, Somalia, will see Qatar Airways network in Africa expand to nine destinations. With the addition of Mogadishu, the airline will operate 40 weekly flights to the continent across nine destinations including Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi, Tunis and Zanzibar.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “We are delighted to resume flights to the capital of Somalia. Mogadishu is considered to be the most populous city in Somalia and with our flights, passengers will be able to enjoy Qatar Airways wide network via our home and hub, Hamad International Airport, which was recently voted the Best Airport in the Middle East. Passengers flying Qatar Airways will benefit from our extensive international network in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. as we lead the way in keeping Africa connected to the world. Qatar Airways remains committed to providing global connectivity to markets across Africa through the launch of new destinations along with the rapid resumption of services suspended due to the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming our passengers back onboard to explore our growing network in Africa.”
Since the onset of the pandemic Qatar Airways’ network has never fallen below 30 destinations with continuous services to five continents, enabling the airline to accumulate unrivalled experience in carrying passengers safely and reliably. The national carrier of the State of Qatar has led the recovery of international air travel with the airline rebuilding its network to more than 550 weekly flights to over 85 destinations across six continents.
Qatar Airways operations are not dependent on any specific aircraft type. The airline’s variety of modern fuel-efficient aircraft has meant it can continue flying by offering the right capacity in each market. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has taken the decision to ground its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market. The airline’s fleet of 49 Airbus A350 and 30 Boeing 787 are the ideal choice for the most strategically important long-haul routes to Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.
Qatar Airways’ onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers. Business Class passengers on aircraft equipped with Qsuite can enjoy the enhanced privacy this award-winning business seat provides, including sliding privacy partitions and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 30 destinations including London, Paris, and Frankfurt. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
To ensure travellers can plan their travel with peace of mind, the airline has extended its booking policies to offer even more choice to its passengers. The airline will allow unlimited date changes, and passengers can change their destination as often as they need if it is within 5,000 miles of the original destination. The airline will not charge any fare differences for travel completed before 31 December 2020, after which fare rules will apply. All tickets booked for travel up to 31 December 2020 will be valid for two years from the date of issuance. For full terms and conditions visit www.qatarairways.com/RelyOnUs.
Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. Passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and boarding gates and bus gate counters are cleaned after each flight. In addition, hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points. HIA was recently ranked “Third Best Airport in the World”, among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. HIA was also voted the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row.
Mogadishu Flight Schedule*: Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday
Doha (DOH) to Mogadishu (MGQ) via Djibouti (JIB) QR1459 departs: 03:40 arrives 12:00
Mogadishu (MGQ) to Doha (DOH) via Djibouti (JIB) QR1460 departs: 13:30 arrives 22:10
*Flight timings may change
Closer to home has Qatar Airways resumed services to Kigali in Rwanda, after the airport was reopened on the 01st of August, leaving out Entebbe which in the past – in combination with Kigali – saw as many as 10 flights a week.
In Tanzania does the airline once again fly to Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar while also flying twice a day to Nairobi again. An announcement is expected soon about resuming services to Mombasa, perhaps in combination with another waypoint stop enroute.
Local travel agents and tour operators, when alerted to Qatar Airways’ return to Mogadishu, poured scorn and contempt over the Ugandan government’s continued refusal to open Entebbe for scheduled passenger flights again, one saying ‘If war torn Somalia with more #COVID19 cases than Uganda can reopen to passenger flights, and we do not, we must ask ourselves what is wrong with our government, what is wrong with the so called scientific advice given to them and what benefit they see in keeping Uganda locked up while all others in the region are open‘ while another regular reader added ‘All our neighbours had the same guidance from ICAO, had the same communications from WHO about safely reopening air transport, had the same information from IATA and AFRAA. Why were our neighbours able to implement these guidelines and reopen their airports and we in Uganda, with the same information, are lagging months behind now. Someone explain that please because it makes no sense at all! Do they think we are fools not to see through that charade?‘