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Doha, Qatar - Qatari flag carrier Qatar Airways has carried over one million people home Since mid-February as part of the repatriation flights during ongoing Pandemic crisis. The airline has also transported over 70,000 tonnes of medical equipment and aid relief worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for the global aviation industry. While the airline continues to maintain operations where possible to take people home and to transport essential supplies, overall demand for air transport has declined significantly.

Qatar Airways has said that it helped over one million passengers to return their homes, operating a mix of scheduled and charter services plus extra sectors. In the past several weeks, the airline has helped repatriate over 45,000 passengers back home to France, 70,000 to Germany and over 100,000 people back to the United Kingdom.  The demand to help get stranded travelers home has also seen Qatar Airways operate flights to new destinations such as Brisbane, Christchurch and Toronto. The national carrier of Qatar continues to operate approximately 60 scheduled flights a day to around 40 destinations and is working closely with embassies across the globe to arrange charters to repatriate stranded citizens.

Qatar Airways Cargo has increased operations to ensure the continuity of global trade and movement of essential medical and aid supplies. The Cargo division of the company operates a significant cargo schedule with almost 100 flights per day. Last month, the operator has worked closely with governments and NGOs to transport over 70,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions around the world on both scheduled and charter services, the equivalent of roughly 500 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters. To continue to fulfil demand the Group’s cargo division is also utilizing passenger aircraft to carry freight-only to destinations in China, Europe, India and the Middle East.

“The entire team at Qatar Airways has worked incredibly hard to take people home over the past few weeks. We have built a strong level of trust with our passengers, governments, travel trade and cargo businesses as a reliable partner when we were needed the most and we continue to offer a schedule where possible and allowed by governments,"

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H E Akbar Al Baker, said.

“We also introduced an employee pay deferral scheme which the Company will credit salary back as soon as possible when circumstances allow. Many other work groups overseas and across all job levels have also offered to take voluntary salary deferrals in solidarity with their colleagues, reinforcing the fact that the Qatar Airways Group family is one who has the best interests of each other and the airline at heart,” 

Al Baker added.

Qatar Airways says that it maintains the highest possible hygiene standards, which include the regular disinfection of aircraft, the use of cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and thermal screening of the crew. In addition, Qatar Airways’ aircraft feature the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air, providing the most effective protection against infection. All the airline’s onboard linen and blankets are washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are removed of ear foams and rigorously sanitized after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves.

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