With travel bans, social distancing and community quarantine measures, airline companies and airport are among businesses that are hit the hardest during this global pandemic. Despite these challenges, Qatar Airways is doing its part in limiting the spread of the virus, using its strengths and resources to work with governments in a joint cause.
Indeed, Qatar Airways has faced this crisis head on and made the right adjustments to remain relevant and cooperative. One thing that Qatar Airways has done is create new policies that ensure its passengers and staff remain healthy. The airlines has also worked with countries trying to send foreigners back to their homeland.
Health Crisis Can’t Stop Qatar Airways from Staying Relevant
General Strategies Made by Qatar Airways
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of the Qatar Airways Group, highlights the following measures Qatar Airways has done in light of the global pandemic:
1. Working hard to bring people back to their families.
2. Improving the already vigorous hygiene practices of the Airways.
3. Ensuring that passengers and the company’s workforce remain healthy during this health crisis.
4. Working in collaboration with local and national governments to beat the virus.
5. Working also with other entities for the same cause.
Adjusting Flight Bookings and Schedules
Due to the drastic nature of the spread of the virus, Qatar Airways has made equally drastic changes to its flight bookings and schedules. These changes are primarily precautionary measures. Air travel has made it easier for the virus to spread throughout the globe rapidly, and now Qatar Airways understands its role to put the spread to a halt. It does so by doing the following measures:
1. Temporarily holding flights to countries that are suffering tremendously from the global pandemic.
2. Acknowledging and complying with the travel restrictions set up by governments who are implementing lockdown procedures. Lockdown keeps citizens from leaving a country and foreigners from entering it.
3. Holding flights to specific airports, including the Madrid Barajas Airport in Spain, Barcelona El Prat Airport, also in Spain, and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
4. Reinstating flights if and only if conditions go back to normal.
Options for Passengers Who Have Booked Tickets
For passengers that have already booked tickets but are unable to use it because of this health crisis, Qatar Airways has offered three choices. The following choices are only for those who have booked or plan to book until September 30. These are:
1. Passengers can change the date of travel for free.
2. Passengers can convert the ticket they purchased into a travel voucher instead. This travel voucher has a one-year validity.
3. Passengers can simply get a refund.
Improved Safety Measures
The following are the improved safety measures that Qatar Airways has directed their employees to obey.
1. Received training on reducing the chances of getting the virus disease.
2. Being authorized to wear disposable gloves and surgical masks.
3. Before and after any flight, the airplane crew undergoes thermal screening.
4. If a crew member or passenger has symptoms of the viral infection, then the crew will be quarantined.
5. Social distancing is practiced, especially when flights have light loads, and even when the passengers are boarding and leaving the plane.
6. Constantly reminding passengers of the health practices advised by the W.H.O., which includes proper washing of hands, social distancing, and not touching the face.
7. Regular disinfection of aircraft using cleaning materials that are approved by the W.H.O. and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
8. Equipping aircraft with advanced filters and filtration systems that are known to remove close to 100 percent of all bacteria and viruses inside.
If they haven’t already, other airline companies should follow Qatar Airways’ example and adjust to the times. As you can see, these strategies are carefully designed and well thought of; an assuring and positive message that we all need during these dire times.