Most of the airline networks are closed, plane after plane grounded and borders sealed. One airline is experiencing a mini boom. So much so that it has expanded capacity on some routes and even put its Airbus A380 mega jumbos back into service.
Following the decision by the United Arab Emirates to close its borders to all travelers including transit passengers, Emirates and Etihad Airways, ceased all passenger operations for two weeks. Doha in neighbouring Qatar remains open as a transit point but passengers cannot enter the country.
Qatar airways have launched a campaign #wewillgetyouhome and are operating flights to 70 of its previous 93 destinations allowing people to return home. Qatar Airways Cargo has also expanded freighter flights to many destinations during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Their fares have been largely very fair from what i have seen. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker in a Reuters interview last week said: “We are not taking advantage … this is a time to serve people who want to be with their loved ones in a very trying time,” It also does not help that people will remember that Qatar Airways as the company that rescued them while others hut down. If those passengers Qatar takes home, remember this, it could potentially be a useful marketing tool in the longer term.
The airline has been operating them at under fifty percent occupancy, however. I cannot imagine many full fare business class passengers are hopping aboard.
Baker said that the company is running out of cash, however and will need support from the Qatari government. I am a huge fan of Qatar Airways and have rated every flight I have done with them five out of five in Economy and Business class. It will be interesting to see how they survive this.
These are the destinations that the airline currently connects but please check with them directly as things change fast:
Africa: Cape town, Johannesburg, Seychelles, Zanzibar
Americas: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, São Paulo, Washington DC
Asia: Bangkok, Colombo, Denpasar, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Phuket, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Yangon
Europe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussells, Budapest, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Zurich
Pacific: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth (A380 x 4 times a week), Auckland
Qatar Airways contacts are here.
If you are planning to go home or you have arrived home with Qatar, I would be interested in your experience. Please add your comments below.