While most domestic and international airlines are cutting thousands of flights from their schedules due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Airways is taking another route. The airline is actually stepping up some of its flying again, after also announcing some cuts in the last few days, by adding 10,000 extra seats back to its network.
It’s doing so by adding extra flights to Paris, Perth and Dublin from its hub in Doha, and by using its A380 fleet for flights to Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Perth. In addition, it’s adding charter service to Europe from the U.S. and Asia.
Unlike other airlines, Qatar still serves 75 destinations, including to the U.S., though the airline acknowledges that this could quickly change as some countries adopt tighter restrictions.
“Figures for the last seven days show load factors of over 80 percent for flights to the UK, France and Germany, with a fall to 36 percent for outbound services from those countries, illustrating the demand for homeward travel,” a Qatar Airways spokesperson said.
“Qatar Airways has flown more than 100,000 passengers home in the last seven days while 72 per cent of passengers carried on 24 March were nationals flying to their country of origin.
“Working with embassies around the world, the airline has operated one-off services from destinations such as Phnom Penh, Denpasar, Manila and Kuala Lumpur to Europe.
“More than 5,000 passengers were flown home by these services over the last week, a number that is expected to more than triple over the next week.
“Qatar Airways is currently operating flights to 75 destinations, though this number may reduce as nations introduce tighter restrictions.”
The airline has published a full list of operational routes at https://www.qatarairways.com/en/travel-alerts/COVID-19-update.html