The coronavirus pandemic dramatically changed the way we live and travel over a short period of time. The post-COVID-19 travel experience looks nothing like it used to; safety procedures and hygiene measures are being implemented to ensure maximum protection for both passengers and employees, and although it might seem overwhelming, it is necessary during these uncertain times.
Hamad International Airport continues operating as transit for passengers to reach their final destinations, and Qatar Airways continues serving its large network around the world.
Air travel during the lockdown
"During this crisis, more passengers have chosen to fly with Qatar Airways than any other airline, and we appreciate the trust they have placed in us. We have become the largest global carrier flying over 50 million kilometers to repatriate over 1.8 million passengers on over 15,000 flights. This has enabled us to accumulate unrivaled experience of how to safely and reliably carry passengers during these uncertain times": Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.
Qatar Airways consistently continued its flights to an estimated 30 destinations on a total of 90 in its network. During this crisis, the airline has reunited an estimated 1.8 million passengers over 15,000 flights!
Qatar's national carrier continues to rebuild its network in line with the reopening of global travel.
Read all about the destinations and restrictions in detail here: https://www.qatarairways.com/en/travel-alerts/COVID-19-update.html.
As air travel slowly reopens, both Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways work hard to ensure that they offer high standard services to all passengers during their stopover in Qatar.
Who was flying during the Coronavirus lockdown?
January 2020 started with 1,75,861 flights per day, while on March 30, the recorded number was 74,297 according to Flightradar24; a more than 50% drop. Most flights for cargo continued, while the majoirty of passenger flights were grounded.
British Airways and Ryanair continued flying to bring people back home.
Most domestic flights in the US were running empty. On August 16, nearly 863,000 people passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, and this can be described as the highest figure since March 17. It's worth mentioning that this number is also the one-third of last years 2.5 million passengers, according to New York Times.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways has adjusted its flying schedule and increased the number of flights to take advantage of the other airlines' ground.
Travel Safety during your stopover at Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport introduced the latest technologies to ensure that all passengers travel with safety and confidence while the airport staff is trained to apply the strict hygiene protocols recommended by the World Health Organization.
Advanced thermal screening helmets are used to check passenger and staff temperature throughout the airport while, advanced face detection system scans passengers to ensure everyone is using masks.
As for disinfection methods, the fully autonomous mobile disinfection robot is one of the most significant allies in the battle against the virus; the robot uses ultra-violet light to kill germs in crucial areas of the airport, minimizing the risk of infection.
Furthermore, disinfection and sanitization of all high contact areas such as counters, stairs, and baggage belts continue while checked-in luggage and trolleys are being carefully disinfected. Hand sanitizers are distributed in key points across the airport, and social distancing signage helps ensure that the 1.5-meter distance between passengers is applied.
Qatar Airways Safety & Hygiene Measures
Qatar Airways has applied high-standard safety and hygiene procedures from check-in to arrival at each destination since the beginning of the pandemic. In accordance with the International Air Transport Association and the World Health Organization, the global airline has further enhanced its measures, as of recently.
In addition to wearing a face mask, all passengers are required to wear a face shield, which is distributed either at the check-in counters or on-board. The face mask is offered in two standard sizes; one for adults and one for children.
All passengers are also offered a protective kit on board; inside a ziplock pouch, the complimentary kit features a surgical mask, gloves, and a hand sanitizing gel.
To ensure the highest levels of hygiene on board, we are providing our passengers with a protective kit which includes a single-use surgical face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel. #QatarAirways pic.twitter.com/vHsEXtblRC— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) September 11, 2020
The airline has also introduced a new, personalized protective gown for its cabin crew to wear along with the face mask, gloves, and glasses.
The airline has also modified its boarding process for limited contact between passengers, encourages social distancing, and strongly advises to avoid travelling if a passenger experiences any symptoms related to COVID-19.
Have you taken any trips during COVID-19? How was your experience?