Qatar Airways continues to lead the industry in providing global 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)
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.
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.
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.