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Posted On: 10 March 2020 01:51 pm
Updated On: 13 April 2020 06:24 am

Qatar Airways and other airlines' notices in regards to temporary suspension of entry to Qatar

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On March 8, 2020, the Government Communications Office announced the temporary entry suspension of 14 countries to Qatar, in addition to Italy as part of efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus. The other countries are Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Thailand. The directive started on March 9, 2020, and will continue until further notice.

In an advisory on its website, Qatar Airways issued the following updates:

Passengers with onward connections

As a preventive measure to limit the spread of Coronavirus, entry to Qatar is temporarily suspended for all those travelling from the abovementioned countries. Only those with onward connections through Hamad International Airport are accepted for travel.

The decision affects all individuals intending to enter from these countries, including visas upon arrival, those with a residence or work permit, and temporary visitors.

Passengers coming from Italy

Only those with onward connections through Hamad International Airport are accepted for travel. Qatari nationals and those who are in possession of a Qatar Residency Permit are exempted from the above-mentioned decision, however, these passengers will be asked to stay in a quarantine facility for 14 days as per the World Health Organization’s measures.

Passengers from Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore

All passengers arriving from Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore will be screened and those displaying disease symptoms will be taken for further testing. Passengers returning positive test results will be admitted to treatment centres as per the measures of the Ministry of Public Health.

Passengers from Egypt

In line with the circular from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) concerning preventing the spread of Coronavirus, Qatar Airways is prohibited from carrying all passengers from Egypt via any intermediate point(s), including those who are in possession of a Qatar Residency Permit. Qatari nationals are exempted from the above-mentioned decision, however, will be asked to stay in a quarantine facility for 14 days as per the World Health Organization’s measures.

What can you do as Qatar Airways ticket holder?

In light of COVID-19, Qatar Airways altered its commercial policy accordingly in order to provide maximum flexibility and peace of mind to customers who wish to alter their existing travel plans.

Passengers travelling with Qatar Airways up to 30 June 2020 can now change their travel plans free of charge by altering their booking dates or opting to receive a travel voucher up to three days prior to departure.

Fees for booking alterations will be waived if reservations are changed at least three days before departure. Fare differences may apply. The travel voucher can be used for future travel with Qatar Airways, valid for one year from its issuance date. Penalties will be waived if cancellations are submitted at least three days before departure.

This policy is valid for all Qatar Airways flights and those of its codeshare and interline partners booked as published fares, either directly from or through travel agents.

Travel advisories from other airlines

Philippine Airlines

In a statement released on March 9, Philippine Airlines is canceling all flights to/from Doha from March 9 to March 15, 2020.

The canceled flights are: PR 684 / 685 Manila - Doha - Manila (Mon/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sun)

Passengers of these canceled flights to/from Doha have the option to request for rebooking/rerouting or refunding of your confirmed ticket on or before March 28, 2020, with waivers of rebooking/rerouting/refunding penalties. You may choose a new travel date that falls on or before June 30, 2020.

For holders of tickets issued by PAL, please visit our office or call (+974) 4422 7302; or email [email protected] Tickets purchased directly through our website, log on to the ManageMyBookingPortal at www.philippineairlines.com for flight rebooking. You may also contact our Manila Reservations Hotline (+63 2) 8855 8888.

For holders of tickets issued by travel agents, please contact or visit the nearest partner travel agency of PAL for your rebooking needs.

You may check your flight status by visiting the Flight Status Page on the PAL website 48 hours before your trip.

Please note that this is a developing situation. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES shall provide updates on flight cancellations to/from Doha.

IndiGo

In a statement by IndiGo, it was stated that due to temporary restriction to operate to Doha issued by the State of Qatar, as a preventive measure in view of coronavirus, flights to/from Doha are impacted until March 17, 2020.

Passengers are eligible for a full refund for the canceled flights and the same may be opted by visiting Plan B link.

In order to change the travel date or to refund the booking, at no extra cost, please visit Plan B link - https://6ereaccomodation.goindigo.in/PlanB/

Himalaya Airlines

In a notice posted by Himalaya Airlines on its Facebook page, it was stated that from March 9, 2020, flights to/from Doha are canceled until further notice. Passengers who are ticketed for flights after March 9, 2020, are eligible for a full refund OR change of the travel date at no extra cost.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines

According to the press release posted on Biman Bangladesh Airlines' website, flights to/from Doha have been canceled from March 9, 2020, until further notice.

Passengers who have purchased tickets for travel to Bangladesh will be able to get a refund or if the seat is vacant after lifting the ban, all seats will be allotted again.

Pakistan International Airlines

In accordance with travel restrictions imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Qatar, PIA is temporarily suspending flight operations from Pakistan to Doha from 9th March 2020 until further notice.

Change of Booking options for affected passengers:

Any change of booking, refund, and/or no-show charges have been waived for all passengers who are booked on Doha-bound flights from Pakistan and are unable to travel due to the above travel restrictions. This facility is valid till 31st March 2020.

Middle East Airlines

In a Twitter post, MEA announced the suspension of flights to/from Qatar in light of the decisions taken by Qatar to limit the spread of coronavirus.

MEA decides to waive all penalties related to tickets refund and bookings change as per the below details:

Ticket date: Any ME ticket, all destinations, issued any time on/before 31 March 2020.

Travel date: Any booking, all destinations, made for travel on/or before 31 March 2020.

Air India Express

According to their Facebook page, flights to/from Qatar are suspended from March 9, 2020, until further notice. Air India Express is also offering penalty waivers due to COVID-19. In view of the uncertain travel situation, free date change will be permitted up to 3 days prior to the flight departure, for all new bookings effected between March 12 to March 31, 2020, for travel up to April 30, 2020.

Nepal Airlines Corporation

In its Facebook post from March 11, Nepal Airlines Corporation states that it has temporarily suspended the flights to/from Doha effective from 10 March 2020 till further notice. As a preventive measure due to the spread of CoronaVirus COVID -19.

The Government of the state of Qatar has temporarily restricted the arrival of the citizens of fourteen countries including Nepal. Passengers who have tickets for flights on 26 Falgun, 2076 and onwards can refund the tickets without paying any extra charges and date change charge up to two times for the sector is waived off. Nepal Airlines has been operating daily flights to/from Doha.

Nepal Airlines is sorry for the inconvenience caused to the passengers due to the cancellation of flights.

Image credit: Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com