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Posted On: 31 March 2020 09:58 pm
Updated On: 13 April 2020 06:25 am

HIA, Qatar Airways provide latest updates on coronavirus measures and duty free closure!

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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A press conference held tonight where representatives from the Hamad International Aiport and Qatar Airways informed about the steps that have been taken to combat coronavirus in Qatar. The press conference was led by the Salam Al Shawa is a Senior Vice President Marketing & Corportae Communications for Qatar Airways as well as M. Badr Al-Meir, Chief Operating Officer of Hamad Airport.

Get more details below!

    Evacuating citizens

    • M. Badr Al-Meir, Chief Operating Officer of Hamad Airport: I assure all citizens and residents that based on the directives of the wise leadership, there is fruitful cooperation between all entities working at the airport, represented by the ministries of the Interior, Health, Transportation, and Qatar Airways, to implement the highest safety standards for travelers and employees.
    • M. Badr Al-Meir: Qatar Airways has a responsibility towards the country and the citizen, and one of its biggest responsibilities is to evacuate citizens and bring back them to the homeland, and this is the main reason for the continuation of the airport operations.
    • M. Badr Al-Meir: There are still Qatari citizens in a number of countries where the epidemic is prevalent, and this requires us, as a national carrier, to take the necessary measures to return them to the homeland as soon as possible, in order to preserve their safety before things get complicated in these countries and before they close airports.

    Medical aid

    • Qatar Airways transported more than 300 tonnes of medical aid at the beginning of the crisis and delivered medical aid to Iran, transporting from all parts of the world to countries of the world for free and also bringing food shipments to Qatar.

    Safety measures at Qatar Airways

    • 14 employees from Qatar Airways had symptoms of the coronavirus and they are not working.
    • Each crew is being tested before and after flights. If a single member of staff gets symptoms, the entire cabin crew team is placed in quarantine. Their interactions are strictly limited and controlled to keep people safe.
    • All the crew members onboard use masks and medical gloves and use sterilizers to maintain their safety and the safety of travelers and to take a safe distance between them and the travelers as well as the spacing between passengers, says Salam Al Shawa - the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Qatar Airways Group.
    • Badr Al-Meir: Any measures that we take at Hamad International Airport are in coordination with the Ministry of Health and in accordance with the laws of the World Health Organization.
    • Engineer Bader Al-Meir: We reduced the number of employees working and reached a reduction of 40% of the total employees.
    • Engineer Bader Al-Meir: We increased the sterilization of Hamad International Airport around the clock.

    Qatar Duty Free closes

    • Duty Free, as well as most of the stores at the airport, are closed.

    Helping people to get back home

    • Salam Al Shawa: We transported the nationals of some of the countries stranded during the crisis, and the governments of Britain, France, Germany and Pakistan thanked the State of Qatar for that initiative. Moreover, Qatar Airways will sponsor the transportation of dozens of Omani students stranded in both Britain and the United States.

    Suspension of flights to the cities that are at high risk

    • The suspension of many flights to some affected cities such as "New York, Madrid and Barcelona" as part of the precautionary measures undertaken by Qatar Airways.

    • Qatar only allows transit passengers traveling to the countries that have their airports open.

    Continued operations

    • Badr Al-Meir: One of the reasons for our continued operations is that 60% of perishable food comes to Doha via passenger planes and not air cargo planes because there are airports that do not allow air cargo planes to land.

    (Cover image credit: Qatar Airways, news source: Qatar Television,)