Qatar Airways today announced a series of initiatives and special events to take place throughout the month of April as part of Autism Awareness Month. Qatar Airways continues its successful collaboration with Hamad Medical Cooperation (HMC) for the second consecutive year by hosting a programme of activities throughout the month designed to raise awareness of the autism spectrum disorder.
This year’s programme of events will include a series of seminars and training conducted by HMC’s doctors, specialists and therapists, with the aim to ensure that Qatar Airways cabin crew and ground staff are prepared to support autistic passengers with a better understanding of the disorder.
HMC doctors and therapists will guide and advise cabin crew members on how to effectively support and assist autistic passengers while travelling on Qatar Airways flights. An information kiosk has also been set up at the Qatar Airways operations center where medical representatives from HMC will distribute informative brochures about the disorder.
World Autism Awareness Day is every year on 2 April worldwide, with the goal of bringing attention to autism. To mark the day, the national carrier will host an exciting and lively Kids Fun Day at Kidzmondo Doha, where pilots and cabin crew will have the opportunity to interact with children with autism and their parents.
Additionally, to support World Autism Day, Qatar Airway staff across the airline’s network will be wearing blue – the official colour of Autism Awareness month – and posting messages about how they will contribute to raising awareness amongst the community. During the month, Qatar Airways staff and cabin crew will be visiting Renad Academy, a member of Qatar Foundation, to spend a day with children with autism.
From 1 April 2018, in-house training sessions on autism awareness conducted by Qatar Airways First Aid trainers will be given to every crew member as part of their recurrent training.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Human Resources, Ms. Nabeela Fakhri, said: “Qatar Airways has always been a major advocate of social and humanitarian causes. By equipping our cabin crew and ground services staff with a better understanding and awareness about the disorder, we are helping to ensure that we support all our passengers as effectively as we can. We are delighted to participate in this global initiative on a local level by once again partnering with Hamad Medical Corporation to provide this important awareness message and training to our staff. The seminars led by trained specialists will allow us to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, both for our autistic travellers as well as their caregivers.”
A special social media campaign will be launched on Qatar Airways social media platforms with a hashtag #qatarairways#autismawarenessmonth, to foster support and further increase awareness. The airline has also organised a photo shoot with its cabin crew, enabling it to publish autism-related content across the airline’s popular social media channels, helping to further increase global awareness.
Corporate Social Responsibility is an important part of Qatar Airways’ values. Last year the airline renewed its sponsorship as Official Airline Partner to Orbis UK for a further three years. The airline has been a proud sponsor of Orbis and its blindness prevention programmes since 2012. Qatar Airways continues to be a proud supporter of the Educate-A-Child programme, which helps provide quality primary school education to millions of out-of-school children globally.
Additionally, the airline has partnered with Doha’s Shafallah Centre, Qatar’s special needs association, to provide special needs adults with employment opportunities at Qatar Airways.
As well as being voted Skytrax ‘Airline of the Year’ by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national flag carrier also won a raft of other major awards at last year’s ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’
Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft to a network of more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents. The airline plans a host of exciting new destinations for 2018/19, including London Gatwick and Cardiff, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay, Turkey; Mykonos, Greece and Málaga, Spain.