Qatar Airways has launched a publicity blitz centred on its decision to keep its planes flying to “get people home”.
The airline has added flights to Paris, Perth and Dublin from Doha and charter services to Europe and the US from Asia. For the first time, Brisbane will get a daily Boeing 777-300ER service from the end of March until mid-April. It will be the first time Qatar Airways has flown to Brisbane.
The new flights come when Qatar Airways is maintaining and even adding flights while other airlines abandon them.
“We know there are many people who want to be with their families and loved ones during this difficult time. We are thankful to the Australian government, airports and staff for their support in helping us to add additional flights to get people home, and in particular, to bring flights to Brisbane,” said a representative for Qatar Airways.
“Qatar Airways is continuing to keep the skies open and getting as many people home as we possibly can in these challenging times. Our state-of-the-art aircraft with their advanced air filter systems, combined with strict bio-security screening of our staff mean that we can continue operating a significant number of flights to reunite stranded passengers with their loved ones.”
They have also recommenced flights using the A380 on several routes including London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Perth at least.
While Qatar is only allowing entry to its citizens (who will go into quarantine for 14 days), it is bucking the trend and allowing foreign nationals to transit through Doha’s Hamad International Airport. This is allowing Qatar Airways to keep flying.
With other transit hubs such as Singapore and the UAE banning transit, Doha is quickly filling the gap for those attempting to travel home.
While governments everywhere are discouraging travel, there remains a need for urgent/essential travel. Additionally, folks remain stranded all over the globe, and some airline services need to keep operating.
Qatar Airways is seeking to capitalise on this by continuing flights and launching new campaigns such as #takingyouhome, which may work in its favour to gain consumer recognition and loyalty above other airlines once the global pandemic comes to an end.
Qatar Airways is one of the few airlines still flying to a substantial number of locations. As of writing, Qatar is flying to 70 destinations with 150 daily flights, making it the largest carrier by destinations. While this a far cry from its prior capacity, it is impressive considering some of the largest carriers in the world have parked most of their fleets.
Qatar Airways claims that it has flown over 100,000 passengers home over the last seven days.
And 72 per cent of passengers flown on 24 March were nationals returning to their home country.