Qatar Airways Mandates Wearing Face Masks and Shields as it Expands Flight Operations

Most of us always wish to get a window side reclining backrest seat on a plane. Added to this is the new demand of travelling in airlines which adhere to proper hygiene and safety measures. As more number of people resume travelling, airlines are having a tough time in making people follow the social distancing norms which are said to be the best way to control the spread of the pandemic. Considering the welfare of both the flight crews and the passengers, Qatar Airways has made wearing mask and face shield compulsory “at all times”.

The airline is providing safety kits with disposable shields, gloves, hand sanitisers and surgical masks. All passengers have been instructed to wear both a shield and a mask “from boarding to disembarkation of the journey”. However, children under two years of age have been exempt.

Qatar Airways provides face shields at the time of check-in and claims that any passenger who refutes wearing the protective gear will be barred from flying.

Speaking to Washington Post, the Medical Director of the Special Pathogens Unit at the Boston University School of Medicine — Nahid Bhadelia said that in terms of self-protection, “the face shield is great if someone is sitting next to you and expelling on you”.

In order to help the society at large, Qatar Airways is running a campaign called as “1 Million Kilos”. Under this campaign, the airline will offer transport humanitarian aid and medical supplies all over the world totally free. With this initiative, medical equipment, essential products and humanitarian relief can be easily supplied to the needy from July to December.

Speaking about the initiative the Chief officer for Cargo — Guillaume Halleux said, “This action was triggered by the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic is a tragedy for millions of people, and we looked for ways how we, as an airline, could help those in the greatest difficulty. This solution — shipping one million kilos of cargo free of charge — is a firm commitment for QR Cargo. More than just words, we wanted to act and to adopt a comprehensive approach based on actions for the future”.

The initiative is a part of a bigger project called ‘We Qare’, which is based on sustainability. The main idea behind this, as the airline claims, is to create a positive impact on the industry.

Qatar Airways is planning to expand its flight operations by running 450 weekly flights to 70+ destinations by the end of this month. From July 15, daily flights will run for Male, Maldives and three weekly flights will run for Addis Ababa, Ethiopa and Djibouti thrice a week on July 16 and July 18 respectively.

Meanwhile, the airline has announced plans to seek compensation for the losses sustained due to an “illegal airspace blockade” that was imposed in 2017 by four Middle East nations. The news came out soon after the International Court of Justice stated that Qatar could challenge the airspace restrictions. Sources claim the airline is planning to increase flights to its Middle East hub in Doha from Edinburgh in August and September.