Qatar Airways announced that it will resume Guangzhou scheduled passenger services with an initial one weekly flight starting 26 July. The Southern China economic and commercial centre becomes the latest destination to join the global network the airline is gradually rebuilding, in addition to the recently announced flight resumptions to Bali, Maldives, Beirut, Belgrade, Berlin, Edinburgh, Larnaca, Prague, Zagreb, Ankara, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Bucharest, Sofia and Venice.
The much-anticipated resumption of Guangzhou passenger flights will further enhance the airline’s commitment to the Chinese market by providing passengers access between Doha, China and beyond via the airline’s award-winning hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), which was recently voted ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “The resumption of Guangzhou passenger services is one of the significant steps taken by Qatar Airways to demonstrate our confidence in the gradual recovery of the regional travel market and global connectivity. Since the COVID-19 crisis started, we have challenged ourselves to be at the forefront and combat the effects of this global pandemic, by volunteering our services to deliver worldwide medical supplies coordinated by Chinese Embassies and Consulates.
“In addition to scheduled freighter services, we have also operated a large number of charters and freight-only passenger aircraft to meet China’s surging demand for imports and exports. With the resumption of passenger flights, we will have 52 flights in total, comprising of passenger freighters, belly-hold cargo flights and freighters in and out of Mainland China each week, providing more than 2500 tons of weekly cargo capacity each way.”
“Qatar Airways been closely working with the local authorities to secure regulatory approval and ensure we are staying up to date with the latest in airport procedures and the most advanced safety and hygiene measures onboard. The return of Guangzhou in our international network will help to re-establish the connection between Doha and China that directly benefits our customers and trade partners. We continue to uphold our core mission of being the trusted airline that gets people home safely and look forward to further strengthening our schedule to China by increasing frequencies and destinations as operating environment permits.”
The airline’s share of the passenger and air cargo market has grown significantly over the past three months. Qatar Airways has remained in operation throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and has operated a significant schedule of over 17,000 flights, including over 300 special charters to more than two million people home globally. The airline has also been running a robust cargo operation globally, with up to 180 dedicated cargo flights daily, and has transported over 580,000 tonnes of cargo all around the world.
During the past months, Qatar Airways Cargo has also worked closely with governments and NGOs to transport over 250,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions around the world on both scheduled and charter services. This equates to roughly 2,500 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters.
Qatar Airways has further enhanced its onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits for cabin crew while onboard, as well as a modified service that reduces interactions between the passengers and the crew inflight. Cabin Crew have already been wearing PPE during flights, including gloves and facemasks. Recently, Qatar Airways has also introduced new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for passengers that include a facemask, disposable gloves and hand sanitiser. In addition, passengers will be provided a face shield visor, available in adult and children size, for their use in conjunction with facemask during flights.
The airline recently announced plans to gradually rebuild its network in line with the evolution of passenger demand and the expected relaxation of entry restrictions around the world. By the end of July, the airline plans to expand its network to over 70 destinations.