Qatar Airways has suspended flights to John F.
Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and will suspend flights to
Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) from 4 April, and Barcelona El Prat
Airport (BCN) from 5 April.
that have booked, or are planning to book, tickets for travel up to 30
September 2020 can alter their travel date free of charge,
exchange their ticket for a future travel voucher valid for one
year, or get a refund.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr.
Akbar Al Baker, said, “At Qatar Airways we continue
to work hard to take people home to their families, while also
ensuring robust health and safety practices to limit the spread of
coronavirus. We are adjusting our flight schedules on a daily
basis, and since the outbreak of the virus we have stepped up our
already robust hygiene practices. In these efforts, we do not work
alone – I am grateful for the support we have received from local
and national governments and entities, whom we are working in
close partnership to overcome this pandemic.”
Qatar Airways has
implemented numerous policies to ensure the health and safety of its
passengers and employees.
Cabin crew have received training on how
to minimise their chances of contracting or spreading the
infection, are thermally screened before the departure of flights
and after their arrival, and are quarantined and tested if any
colleagues or passengers on a flight shows any symptoms of
infection or test positive for the virus. As the current pandemic
has escalated, cabin crew have been authorised to wear surgical
masks and disposable gloves.
In addition, Qatar Airways has revised its
distribution of cabin crew on flights, sending two groups on
short-haul and medium-haul flights – the first to manage
the outbound trip, the second to manage the inbound trip. For
long-haul flights, crew members who have to stay overnight in a
foreign city can only travel in Qatar Airways-approved transport
and must remain in their rooms, limiting human interaction.
terms of passengers, Qatar Airways is encouraging social
distancing where possible, especially on flights with lighter
loads. Distancing is also implemented during the boarding process,
ensuring passengers are allocated seats far apart from each other.
The airline is also encouraging passengers to follow hygiene
practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), such
as regular hand washing and refraining from touching the face.
Airways’ aircraft feature the most advanced air filtration
systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove
99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air,
providing the most effective protection against infection. All the
airline’s onboard linen and blankets are washed, dried and pressed
at microbial lethal temperatures, and then sealed into individual
packaging by staff wearing disposable gloves.
At Hamad International Airport (HIA), transfer passengers are being processed in a strategic way that minimises contact with staff and each other, to ensure social
distancing. Most food courts and food outlets have been
temporarily closed following Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)
guidelines. Some food and beverage outlets remain operational with
passengers following social distancing measures.
HIA has also
suspended retail and service outlets except for some essential
stores like the pharmacy.
The airport has also stopped the use of passenger
trains, escalators, moving walkalators and elevators, and have
stopped the use of baby strollers and prayer rooms.
passengers undergo thermal screening, especially those coming from
countries with a severe coronavirus outbreak. Advanced thermal
cameras have been installed that can remotely record the body
temperature of each passenger. If a passenger is detected to have
a fever, they are transferred to a specialised clinic at the
airport arrivals side.