* National carrier achieves Airline Passenger Experience Association’s latest safety benchmark following assessment of its robust Covid-19 hygiene and safety standards
Qatar Airways has achieved 'Diamond Standard' in the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s (Apex) Health Safety Powered by SimpliFlying audit. The 'Diamond Standard' status, the highest level attainable, was announced by Apex and global aviation marketing consultancy SimpliFlying following a meticulous assessment of the airline’s robust Covid-19 hygiene and safety standards, Qatar Airways said in a statement Tuesday.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker said, “As an industry leader, we welcome the further recognition of Qatar Airways’ commitment to providing the most rigorous and stringent virus monitoring, detection and Covid-19 safety programme throughout our end-to-end passenger experience, in existence within the global aviation community.
“The awarding of the Apex Health Safety ‘Diamond Standard’ was the result of a thorough and extensive independent audit of the airline’s comprehensive Covid-19 protection and prevention measures, both on board and at Hamad International Airport (HIA), and reinforces the fact that air travel does not need to be a source of concern to passengers.
“As commercial aviation continues to deal with the challenges and impact of the global pandemic, we welcome the introduction of this and other relevant Covid-related hygiene and safety reviews, and would encourage other airlines to continue to build passenger confidence and assist with the recovery of the industry by participating wherever possible.”
Apex chief executive officer Dr Joe Leader said: “Qatar Airways’ Covid-19 protocols definitively met the highest marks for the Diamond certification level backed by their extraordinary steps for customer safety. The actions taken by Qatar appear centred around a singular philosophy: how can we innovatively maximise both our customer service and passenger safety hand-in-hand.
“Having flown recently on Qatar Airways with my family to the Maldives after negative Covid-19 PCR tests, the level of health safe service both in-flight and on-the-ground surpassed my highest expectations and even surpassed our best-ever pre-pandemic experience on the airline.”
SimpliFlying chief executive officer Shashank Nigam added, "Qatar Airways has raised the bar for health safety standards in the industry by initiatives such as providing a face shield to all passengers, using Honeywell’s UV disinfection systems and advanced biosafety measures at its hub in Doha. Taking such hospital-grade in ensuring health safety will help bolster trust among travellers."
Qatar Airways’ onboard safety measures include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers. Business Class passengers on aircraft equipped with Qsuite can enjoy the enhanced privacy this award-winning business seat provides, including sliding privacy partitions and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator.
Qsuite is available on flights to more than 30 destinations, including Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, one can visit qatarairways.com/safety.
In addition to this, the airline uses the most advanced HEPA air filtration systems on board all aircraft, and recently introduced Honeywell’s state-of-the-art Ultraviolet Cabin System, operated by Qatar Aviation Services, as a further step in the cleaning of its aircraft.
Qatar Airways currently operates more than 800 weekly flights to over 110 destinations across the globe. By the end of March, Qatar Airways plans to rebuild its network to 129. Many cities will be served with a strong schedule with daily or more frequencies.