Qatar Airways eyes normality as lockdowns are eased

World Grigory Matyunin 06-May-2020
Qatar Airways Plane
ID 67898909 © Santiago Rodríguez Fontoba | Dreamstime.com

Qatar Airways has stated that it intends to re-open a large number of routes later this month as countries  throughout the world have begun easing lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of covid-19.

Qatar Airways is a state-owned company and remains among the few airlines not to have grounded  its fleet, continuing to serve approximately 30 destinations. It has expressed hopes of restoring flights to 52 destinations by the end of the month and 80 by the end of June. It normally serves 165 destinations.

The airline has noted the difficulty in foreseeing which flights will be able to open due to the constantly-changing nature of current restrictions on freedom of movement. Flights will therefore be added slowly depending upon government guidance, passenger flows and booking trends.

“We have built a strong level of trust with passengers, governments, trade and airports as a reliable partner during this crisis and we intend to continue delivering on this mission as we gradually expand our network,” stated the company’s CEO Akbar al-Baker.

The flight industry has sustained a heavy blow from the coronavirus-related lockdowns which have frequently included restrictions on foreign travel and closure of borders to passenger transport. Qatar Airlines has been running low on cash reserves, slashing the salary of its staff and considering large-scale job cuts.