Qatar Airways is supporting international efforts to tackle the second COVID-19 surge in India by shipping medical aid and equipment to the country free of charge from global suppliers.
The airline intends to transport 300 tonnes of aid from across its global network to Doha where it will be flown in a three-flight cargo aircraft convoy directly to destinations in India where it is most desperately needed.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker said that the State of Qatar has a long and special relationship with India, and we have watched with great sorrow as COVID-19 has once again caused a significant challenge to the country.
“As one of the world air cargo leaders, with an extensive international network, we stand ready to provide humanitarian support by transporting these much-needed supplies, and help the country fight back against this appalling virus,” he said.
Qatar Has Transported 20 Million Doses
Qatar Airways Cargo has already transported well over 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for UNICEF as part of the five-year MoU to support UNICEF’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.
The cargo shipment will include PPE equipment, oxygen canisters and other essential medical items, and consists of donations by individuals and companies around the world in addition to existing cargo orders.
Qatar Airways has been a leader in the fight against COVID-19 and in the early stages of the pandemic, provided similar aid flights to China, shipping supplies to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai in February 2020.
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 Has Flown Most Seats
In the past 12 months, Qatar has flown more seats further than any other airline on cross-border routes, according to data firm OAG.
In the week starting April 26, the carrier is scheduled to fly more than twice the international capacity of Air France, over two-thirds more than Delta Air Lines Inc. and over 13% more than Emirates.
Across both domestic and long-haul travel, American Airlines Group Inc. remains the world’s largest flier.
Doha-based Qatar is flying planes that are often near-empty on routes around the globe to increase market share. It is using a downsizing at Emirates to hire staff.
And while other airlines have reduced services to markets closed by Covid-19, state-backed Qatar is pursuing new landing rights to emerge stronger post pandemic.
Biggest Long-haul Carrier
Whether Qatar remains the world’s biggest long-haul carrier by capacity partly depends on how quickly other airlines restore schedules, and if it has built up enough goodwill with customers to start filling flights as the world resumes travel.
“We are ready for competition, we have never shied away from competition, we like competition,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said in an interview, in a veiled reference to Emirates foxbusiness reported.
In the first four months of the pandemic, Qatar repatriated some 3.2 million passengers, a move Al Baker said won the loyalty of new customers. It has also opened new connections to places such as San Francisco, Brisbane in Australia, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and Accra, the capital of Ghana, destinations it plans to keep in its network.
The strategy has been seen to be already paying off for some routes. Qatar launched flights to Seattle earlier this year and had a 22.3% market share of passenger traffic from Asia in March, versus 16.7% for Emirates, which began operating there nine years ago, according to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport statistics.