Pandemic or not – Qatar Airways continues to upgrade the fleet

QATAR AIRWAYS TAKES DELIVERY OF THREE AIRBUS A350XWB1000 AIRCRAFT

(Posted 23rd October 2020)

Qatar Airways just announced it has taken delivery today of three more Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, reaffirming its position as the largest operator of Airbus A350 aircraft with now 52 in its fleet.

All three A350-1000 are fitted with the airline’s multi award-winning Business Class seat, Qsuite and will operate on strategic long-haul routes to Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is one of the few global airlines to have never stopped flying throughout this crisis. As one of the only airlines to continue taking delivery of new aircraft at this time, our strategic investment in modern, fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft has enabled us to continue flying taking over 2.3 million people home on more than 37,000 flights since the start of the pandemic. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, we will continue to fly greener and smarter by keeping our fleet of Airbus A380 grounded, as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market.

Environmentally conscious passengers can travel with the reassurance that Qatar Airways continuously monitors the market to assess both passenger and cargo demand to ensure it operates the most efficient aircraft on each route. Rather than being forced to fly oversized aircraft due to limited aircraft options, reducing the flexibility for passengers to travel when they want, Qatar Airways has a variety of sustainable aircraft it can choose from to offer more flights with the right capacity in each market. Passengers can also rely on our airline operate an honest schedule of flights with our mixed fleet giving us the ability to maintain services, and upgrade or downgrade aircraft size depending on passenger demand.”

Passenger travelling on-board Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000s can enjoy:

  • The widest cabin body of any class with larger windows creating an extra spacious feel
  • The widest seats of any aircraft in its category with generous room in all classes
  • Advanced air system technology including HEPA filters which deliver optimal cabin air quality, renewing air every two-to-three minutes for more comfort and less fatigue
  • LED mood lighting which mimic a natural sunrise and sunset to help reduce the effects of jet lag
  • The quietest cabin of any twin-aisle aircraft that includes a draft-free air circulation system resulting in a low ambient cabin noise level for a more peaceful journey

The airline’s internal benchmark compared the A380 to the A350 on routes from Doha to London, Guangzhou, Frankfurt, Paris, Melbourne, Sydney and New York. On a typical one-way flight, the airline found the A350 aircraft saved a minimum of 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide per block hour compared to the A380. The analysis found that the A380 emitted over 80% more CO2 per block hour than the A350 on each of these routes. In the cases of Melbourne and New York the A380 emitted 95% more CO2 per block hour with the A350 saving around 20 tonnes of CO2 per block hour. Until passenger demand recovers to appropriate levels, Qatar Airways will continue to keep its A380 aircraft grounded, ensuring it only operates commercially and environmentally responsible aircraft.

Environmentally conscious passengers can travel with the reassurance that Qatar Airways continuously monitors the market to assess both passenger and cargo demand to ensure it operates the most efficient aircraft on each route. Rather than being forced to fly oversized aircraft due to limited aircraft options, reducing the flexibility for passengers to travel when they want, Qatar Airways has a variety of sustainable aircraft it can select from to offer more flights with the right capacity in each market. Passengers can also rely on Qatar Airways to operate its scheduled flights with its mixed fleet providing it the agility to maintain services and just upgrade or downgrade aircraft depending on passenger demand.

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 also reports extremely low numbers of COVID-19 cases on board its aircraft after operating more than 4.6 million passenger flown sectors and over 33 billion revenue passenger kilometres on more than 37,000 COVID-19-free flights across the globe since February 2020.

The success of the airline’s robust COVID-19 monitoring, detection and hygiene programme has resulted in more than 99.988 per cent of passengers travelling COVID-19-free on board, with significantly less than one percent of passengers confirmed to have tested positive by local authorities following a Qatar Airways flight.

In addition to this, significantly less than one per cent (0.002%) of operating cabin crew have been affected on board to date, with no new cases recorded since the airline introduced its full PPE in-flight uniform in May 2020, as well as the inclusion of passenger face shields on all flights.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, added: “These latest statistics are a clear indication that, with the adoption of the right measures such as meticulous on-board safety, hygiene and social distancing procedures in place at airports, and compliance with the testing and entry requirements of local authorities, air travel does not need to be a source of concern to passengers.

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have introduced the most rigorous and stringent virus monitoring, detection and on-board hygiene programme in existence within the global aviation community. As an industry, we want to ensure the recovery of commercial aviation by encouraging passengers to feel confident that they are safe and protected, from departure to arrival, with all airlines.

Our risk-based approach has seen us adopt a number of additional measures such as the introduction of PCR testing for passengers departing from ‘high risk’ countries, and the use of the most advanced HEPA air filtration systems on board our aircraft, wherever possible. This is in addition to the recent introduction of Honeywell’s Ultraviolet Cabin System, operated by Qatar Aviation Services, as an additional step in the cleaning of our aircraft and yet more evidence of Qatar Airways commitment to enhancing its safety practices. We have also done everything possible to protect our crew and employees from exposure to infection, with specialist onboard infection prevention training and the introduction of full PPE in-flight uniform in May completely eradicating this risk to date.

As a result of these important measures we are able to report that 99.988 per cent of the more than 4.6 million passenger flown sectors operated have been COVID-19-free on board our aircraft since February 2020. In addition, significantly less than one per cent of Qatar Airways’ more than 37,000 flights have been confirmed to have carried an infected passenger. Given the extremely low numbers of cases travelling on flights and the even lower risk of transmission, with a recent IATA study finding 1 in 27 million travellers had contracted COVID-19 on board a flight, passengers can travel with peace of mind with the knowledge that flying continues to be the safest form of travel.

Whilst these numbers may be low, we will continue to fastidiously monitor global developments in the fight to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as work closely with local health authorities to support with tracing activities whenever a positive case is confirmed and they have travelled with us within the time range of the incubation period. As an industry, we must remain vigilant and avoid any complacency, but ensure that we have strong safety and security procedures in place to instill confidence in passengers and provide reassurance, whether they are travelling home, visiting friends and family, or taking a leisure trip.”

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 52 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 has also resumed flights to Entebbe and Kigali while serving Nairobi now twice a day again. Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar also welcome regular scheduled passenger flights again.

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