Flying to 70 international cities during COVID-19 with confidence: Qatar Airways CEO explains how
Money flies! Qatar Airways invest so the airline can keep flying while others shut down
Are hygiene and money a winning combination for this Skyteam member Airline to keep connecting the world despite the global Coronavirus pandemic?
Almost every airline in the world is either shutting down passenger flights or cutting down operations 90% or more. There is only one passenger airline in the world going in the opposite direction
Qatar Airways is increasing flights and business is good, and travel to Australia is booming.
Qatar is located in the Gulf region. The carrier is competing with Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines had the largest network in the world and is now serving only 5 cities from their Istanbul hub: Hong Kong, Addis Ababa, Moscow, New York City, and Washington, DC.
Qatar Airways continues to operate 150 flights per day to over 70 cities worldwide despite the COVID-19 crisis that has crippled global airline operations.
Qatar Airways has a lot of money. As of May 2014, the company is fully owned by the Qatari government. Qatar Airways has been fully controlled by the government since July 2013, following the buyout of a 50% stake from a former foreign minister and other shareholders. Qatar often ranks as one of the richest countries in the world per capita. Qatar’s population is approximately 2.27 million, giving it a total GDP of approximately $124,930 per person and making it the richest country in the world as of 2017, according to the IMF.
The airline invested in safety and hygiene. CEO Akbar Al Baker is known as an airline chief who never took a risk, and safety always came over profits. The airline stopped service to Seychelles one time until the country expanded a runway at an alternative airport Qatar Airways could fly in case of an emergency.
According to information received from Qatar Airways, their justification to let passengers and crew travel with confidence is:
- Every aircraft is disinfected and cleaned regularly between and during flights.
- Staff is trained with the latest hygiene and cleaning protocols.
- Qatar Airways is using cleaning products recommended by IATA and the World Health Organization.
- Qatar Airways planes are equipped with HEPA Air Filters. Such filters remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants. They provide the most effective protection against infection.
- Linen and blankets are washed and dried at 90 degrees Celsius. They are handled with gloves and are individually packed.
- Utensils and cutlery are washed with detergents at temperatures that kill pathogenic bacteria. Cutlery is individually packed.
- Headsets are carefully refurbished and sanitized. They are individually packaged wearing gloves.
- All arriving passengers from affected countries are screened at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
- All lounges have sanitizers available at the reception desk.
The move of this 5-Star Skytrax airline and member of Skyteam is a different one. Time will tell how effective it is, but for right now, Qatar Airways is flying full planes and is generating revenue.