* National airline is working with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to administer 1,000 vaccines for its employees per day; 20% of QR employees are already vaccinated, says Group Chief Executive
Qatar Airways is working with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to administer 1,000 vaccines for its employees per day, said Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker.
“20% of our employees are already vaccinated and before the end of this month, our entire population of nearly 37,000 employees would have been vaccinated,” al-Baker said at a recent webinar hosted as part of the ‘Qatar – US Business Culture Series’.
Al-Baker noted, “The impact of Covid-19 on global air transport is without precedent. I encourage all states to consider harmonised mitigation measures to reduce public health risks to air passengers and aviation workers while strengthening confidence among the public, similar to what Qatar Airways has committed to.
“This includes the harmonisation of passenger testing protocols, which will be a key to restoration of public confidence and sustained and effective recovery of the air transport sector. The air transport sector is an important and vital industry in our lives and for commerce.
“These measures will assist airline’s efforts to accelerate demand for air travel, which has been heavily impacted by Covid-19, while we all work together for the common objective to ensure safety and support economic recovery and growth.”
Citing a recent IATA report, al-Baker said the industry (air transport) losses will continue in 2021, even though performance is expected to improve over the period of the forecast.
He said, “Based on IATA’s latest forecast, global revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024, a year later than previously projected, which I agree will happen.
Passenger numbers are expected to rise 62% in 2021 of the depressed 2020 basis, but still will be down almost 30% compared to 2019. I still think these figures are over optimistic.”
Al-Baker said, “We need to get borders safely reopened without quarantine so that people will fly again and with airlines expected to bleed cash at least until the fourth quarter of 2021 there is no time to lose.”
He said Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star Covid-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first and only airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star Covid-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provide assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment.
Qatar Airways’ aircraft features the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants.
Qatar Airways is also the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System, further advancing its hygiene measures onboard. In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied.
Al-Baker said Qatar Airways has increased its health and safety measures onboard by introducing new personal protective equipment (PPE) for customers and cabin crew. The airline’s additional robust measures include offering face shields and protective kits to all passengers, in addition to a new protective gown for cabin crew.