Qatar Airways continues to lead the recovery of international travel, operating the world’s first fully COVID-19 vaccinated flight yesterday. QR6421 departed Hamad International Airport at 11:00 AM carrying only vaccinated crew and passengers onboard, with passengers served by fully vaccinated staff at check-in. The special flight, which returned to Doha at 14:00, showcased all the measures the airline has put in place to ensure the highest standards of safety and hygiene on board, including its latest innovation, the world’s first ‘Zero-Touch’ in-flight entertainment technology. The special service was operated by the airline’s most technologically advanced and sustainable aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000, with the flight also fully carbon offset in line with the carrier’s environmental responsibilities.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker yesterday said: “Today’s special flight demonstrates the next stage in the recovery of international travel is not far away. We are proud to continue leading the industry by operating the first flight with a fully vaccinated crew and passengers and providing a beacon of hope for the future of international aviation. With aviation being a critical economic driver both globally and here in the State of Qatar, we are thankful for the support we have received from our government and local health authorities to vaccinate our staff, with over 1,000 vaccinations being administered per day.
“It is in Qatar Airways DNA to be at the forefront, setting the highest standards of safety and customer service. Before the pandemic, Qatar Airways became the first and only airline to be awarded the Skytrax Airline of the Year five times. When the pandemic hit its peak in early April, our airline continued flying to help repatriate millions of stranded passengers and transport essential medical supplies, while also implementing the latest innovations in biosafety and hygiene. As the vaccine rollout begins to gather pace worldwide, Qatar Airways remains committed to being the airline passengers and travel partners can rely on, operating one of the largest global networks to provide the connectivity needed to reunite families and friends and support global trade.
“Qatar Airways Cargo has also played a vital role in maintaining a reliable schedule across our network of destinations. Since the onset of the pandemic, Qatar Airways has helped transport more than 500,000 tonnes of medical supplies and delivered close to 20,000,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to over 20 countries.”
Passengers on board were able to livestream the historic experience thanks to Qatar Airways’ industry-leading Super WiFi onboard that combines the latest technology from Inmarsat, SITA for Aircraft and Thales.
To show its gratitude to those who have played key roles throughout the pandemic, Qatar Airways gave away 100,000 complimentary return tickets to healthcare workers and 21,000 to teachers around the world in 2020.
Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first and only airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provide assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East to begin trials of the innovative new IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app. IATA Travel Pass ensures passengers receive up-to-date information on COVID-19 health regulations at their destination country, as well as complying with strict global data privacy regulations to enable the sharing of COVID-19 test results with airlines to verify they are eligible to undertake their journey.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Johannesburg, Frankfurt, New York and Singapore.
Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times. In addition to this, Qatar Airways home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) was ranked the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth consecutive year and ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020.