Published on : Thursday, April 2, 2020
Qatar Airways has decided to suspend operations to New York and the Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona. All flights to New York JFK would be paused starting today. Meanwhile, operations to Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat would be restricted from April 4 and April 5, respectively.
The decision has been undertaken in light of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Qatar Airways has pledged to reinstate those flights right after the conditions become regular. The airline mentioned in a recent statement that it will continue to temporarily suspend flights to severely affected countries. It said that the move arrives following entry restrictions implemented by many governments to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The COVID-19 outbreak had harshly impacted the aviation industry. Numerous airline operations have been suspended or shut down. On the contrary, Qatar Airways has mostly refrained from cutting down its services. It has even increased its capacity to some destinations. The airline further added that it is working with governments around the world to maintain a strong schedule of flights. It is also organising rescue flights for destinations that require the service.
Qatar Airways has also undertaken a series of measures to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus on Qatar Airways flights. The measures include staff training, thermal screening of crew on departure and arrival as well as the use of quarantine. In addition, the carrier’s cabin crew have been authorised to wear surgical masks and disposable gloves. It has also amended the distribution of its cabin crew on flights to minimise the risk of them catching or transmitting the disease.
Hamad International Airport, the hub of Qatar Airways, has closed a majority of the non-essential passenger lounges. It has also enhanced the cleaning and disinfection regime to maintain proper hygiene and safety. Social distancing is also being maintained at the airport.