Published on : Thursday, June 11, 2020
New independent data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) clearly reaffirms Qatar Airways as the airline that worked diligently to take people home safely and reliably during this crisis. Qatar Airways’ over 1.3 billion revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) during the month of April accounted for 17.8% of the global market, over triple its nearest competitor and more than the next four airlines combined. Qatar Airways Cargo also continues to lead its sector with more than 900 million cargo tonne kilometres (CTK) accounting for 7.2% of the global cargo market, ensuring much needed airfreight capacity to support global trade and the transportation of essential medical and aid supplies to impacted regions.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the global aviation industry, the national carrier of the State of Qatar has remained focused on its fundamental mission of taking people home. Qatar Airways has become the largest carrier in the world flying over 50 million kilometres to repatriate over 1.8 million passengers on over 15,000 flights during the crisis. The airline has also worked closely with governments, and companies around the world to operate over 220 charters and extra sector flights. Qatar Airways has accumulated unrivalled experience of how to safely and reliably carry passengers during these uncertain times, having taken more people home on more flights to more destinations than any other airline.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “I welcome these independent statistics from IATA which clearly show our airline’s resilience during this crisis and unwavering commitment to our passengers to reunite them with their loved ones, and our cargo customers to continue transporting their goods to where they need to be.
“An unprecedented challenge needs an unprecedented response and Qatar Airways worked tirelessly to continue providing repatriation options to stranded passengers. Such was our commitment to this mission that our RPKs were greater than the next four airlines combined, a statistic without parallel in modern aviation.
“It is no surprise why more people are relying on us for international travel than any other airline. While many airlines suspended operations, we continued to maintain a robust schedule and network. Our network never fell below 30 destinations and we have recently begun to regrow our global network with over 170 weekly flights to more than 40 destinations and plan to resume over half of our previous destinations by the end of the summer season. Our commitment to the travel market is clear, Qatar Airways is the airline passengers and trade partners can rely on now and in the future.
“Our continuous operations ensure we have significant experience in keeping up to date with the latest international airport procedures. We have implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures on board our aircraft, as has our award-winning home and hub, Hamad International Airport, recently voted the Best Airport in the Middle East for the sixth consecutive year.”
To ensure travellers can plan their travel with peace of mind, the airline has also 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.
Passengers flying Business Class on Qsuite equipped aircraft can avail of the enhanced privacy this award-winning suite provides, including sliding privacy partitions and fully closing doors that create a private sanctuary. Passengers can also opt to use the ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator in their private suite, if they wish to limit their interactions with the cabin crew. Qsuite continues to be available on flights to more than 30 destinations including London, Sydney, Singapore and Dallas Fort Worth with plans to add it to more routes throughout the summer.
Qatar Airways has further enhanced its onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew. The airline has implemented several changes, including the introduction of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits for cabin crew while onboard, as well as a modified service that reduces interactions between the passengers and the crew inflight. Passengers are required to wear face coverings inflight, with the carrier recommending travellers bring their own for fit and comfort purposes.
The airline’s home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) has also continued to lead the industry being recently 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. It was also ranked “Third Best Airport in the World”, among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. Rising from fourth position in 2019 to third in 2020, HIA has been steadily rising in the ‘World’s Best Airports’ rankings since the start of its operations in 2014.