QATAR AIRWAYS REMAINS LARGEST GLOBAL CARRIER AS THE WORLD OPENS UP AGAIN
(Posted 02nd September 2020)
Airline’s young fleet of sustainable aircraft has enabled it to continue flying throughout the pandemic and rapidly rebuild its global network to more than 650 weekly flights to over 85 destinations
Qatar Airways’ passengers can enjoy more flexible travel options via the most connected and Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport
The airline will also resume flights to Houston, Kathmandu, Mogadishu, Philadelphia and Sialkot in September
Qatar Airways continues to lead the global aviation industry in providing world wide connectivity by resuming flights to just over half the destinations it operated pre-COVID-19.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Qatar Airways network has never fallen below 30 destinations with continuous services to five continents. By mid-September, the national carrier of the State of Qatar will operate over 650 weekly flights to more than 85 destinations, providing more flexible travel options to more global destinations than any other airline.
During the month of September, the airline will resume flights to the following destinations:
- Houston (three weekly flights started 2 September increasing to four weekly from 15 September)
- Kathmandu (one weekly flight starting 5 September)
- Mogadishu (three weekly flights starting 6 September)
- Philadelphia (three weekly flights starting 16 September)
- Sialkot (three weekly flights started 1 September)
The airline’s variety of fuel-efficient efficient aircraft and strategic network management has also enabled it to increase frequencies in the following destinations, providing more flexible travel options to passengers:
- Ankara (increased to daily from 1 September)
- Baghdad (increasing to 11 weekly flights from 3 September)
- Basra (increased to daily flights from 2 September)
- Djibouti (increasing to six weekly flights from 6 September)
- Erbil (increasing to 11 weekly flights from 3 September)
- Ho Chi Minh City (increasing to daily flights from 15 September)
- London Heathrow (increased to four daily flights from 1 September)
- New York JFK (increased to double daily flights from 1 September)
- Sulaymaniyah (increased to daily flights from 2 September)
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to be the leading global airline connecting passengers with the world, operating one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient and sustainable fleets to take people safely to where they need to be. The gradual rebuilding of our network has been focused on strengthening connections between our hub in Doha and key gateways around the world as well as major business and leisure destinations. The resumption of flights to Philadelphia will provide seamless connections via our U.S. partners to several key domestic points such as Atlanta, Detroit and Miami. Similarly, the increase in frequencies to Djibouti, Ho Chi Minh City, London and New York will provide further air freight capacity to these important trade and economic centres.
The recovery of international travel will take time but returning to over 50 per cent of our pre-COVID-19 network is a significant milestone. Restoring passenger confidence is key, and we are proud to lead the industry by offering one of the most flexible and generous booking policies that enables customers to plan their travel with confidence. By continuing to fly during the pandemic while others stopped, we have gained the trust of passengers as an airline they can rely on. We have taken more international passengers home than any other airline during this pandemic and as entry restrictions ease and we resume more of our pre-COVID-19 network, we remain focused on our fundamental mission of carrying passengers across the globe safely and reliably. There are still millions of people who have not seen their friends and families for months and our growing network allows them to travel home or take a trip to see loved ones. With a young fleet of fuel efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 operating the majority of the current network, Qatar Airways continues to offer passengers a sustainable solution for their travel plans.
We also remain in close contact with Australian authorities regarding flight restrictions as ensuring the ongoing repatriation of passengers to the country is becoming increasingly challenging. Despite the restrictions on passengers allowed to be carried into the country, we continue to fulfil our mission to facilitate ongoing repatriation for as many people as possible by operating a robust Australian network to five cities, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne (currently no inbound passengers permitted), Perth and Sydney, offering more flights than any other international airline. While other airlines grounded operations, we maintained our flights, carrying almost 40% of all international travellers to and from Australia between April and June 2020, helping to take over 180,000 Australian and international travellers home since the start of the crisis. These flights have also helped maintain vital supply chains for Australian businesses with our airline carrying over 15,000 tonnes of Australian goods since 01st of March 2020.”
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 31st of December 2020, after which fare rules will apply. All tickets booked for travel up to 31st of December 2020 will be valid for two years from the date of issuance. For full terms and conditions visit qatarairways.com/RelyOnUs.
According to the latest IATA data, Qatar Airways has become the largest international carrier between April to June by fulfilling its mission of taking people home. This enabled the airline to accumulate unmatched experience in carrying passengers safely and reliably and uniquely positioned the airline to effectively rebuild its network. The carrier has stringently implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures on board its aircraft and in Hamad International Airport.
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 Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
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’ 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.
In Eastern Africa has Qatar Airways resumed scheduled passenger flights to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar while already serving Nairobi twice a day again.
An announcement is expected about the resumption of flights to Mombasa.
Elsewhere in the region was the airline compelled to de-link Entebbe and Kigali / Rwanda, the latter already being served three times a week now with a non stop flight in both directions.
Entebbe, previously receiving as many as 10 flights a week, most in conjunction with Kigali, remains out of bounds though as the airport, and the land borders, remain closed, a situation harshly criticized by the country’s tourism, hospitality and aviation industry which has used terms like ‘unsustainable‘ ‘irrational‘ ‘misguided‘ and ‘backward‘ when demanding the immediate reopening of the international airport.