Qatar Airways will continue to take every single aircraft that the national carrier has ordered from both the manufacturers (Boeing and Airbus), Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker has said.

“At Qatar Airways we are very prudent in the way we place our aircraft orders and our requirements,” al-Baker told the BBC recently.

As of December last year, the airline’s fleet included 52 Airbus A350 and 30 Boeing 787, Qatar Airways data show.

In the last few months of 2020, Qatar Airways took delivery of three Airbus A350-1000s, reaffirming its position as the largest operator of Airbus A350 aircraft with an average age of 2.6 years.

Asked about his expectations for air travel to get back to pre-Covid levels, al-Baker said, “Until and unless science proves all these questions that people have about the disease or the effect of the vaccination, I don’t think that travel will come back to 2019 levels for the foreseeable future.”

On requirements for passengers to produce Covid-19 negative certificate, al-Baker said, “Quite frankly, I think that this will be the new norm that everybody will have to produce vaccination certificates to board an aeroplane… and not only to board an aeroplane, a lot of countries will require that you be vaccinated before you come to their countries. I think it will be a joint ICAO, IATA and WHO project to introduce a 'safe pass' for people whose vaccination certificate will be recognised internationally.”

The Group CEO said, “Nothing is more costly than to look at the interest of our passengers and our crew, to protect them from this pandemic. We invest to look after them and at the same time to give them the confidence that they can travel on.”

As the largest airline flying consistently throughout the pandemic, Qatar Airways accumulated unrivalled experience of how to safely and reliably carry passengers during these uncertain times.

Qatar Airways stringently implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers, the airline said recently.

Additionally, among other enhanced hygiene measures, the airline was the first international carrier to deploy Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System, operated by Qatar Aviation Services, further advancing its hygiene measures on board, the national carrier noted.