This rare bit of positive news from the airline industry will help holidaymakers now stuck abroad.
While an increasing number of airlines have halted all international services or at least made drastic cuts to their global network, Qatar Airways has stepped up its efforts to get travelers home this week. The leading Gulf carrier is still flying to 75 cities as of March 26, and Doha’s Hamad International Airport remains open for transit passengers as in normal circumstances, though of course all are subject to entry restrictions at their final destinations.
In response to the increase in load factors to over 80 percent on flights from Doha to the United Kingdom, France, and Germany in the past week, the airline has added 10,000 extra seats to its network as of March 24, while upgrading services to Frankfurt, London Heathrow, and Perth by deploying Airbus A380s. Extra flights to Paris, Dublin, and Perth are now available as well.
Charter services have also been arranged to repatriate European and American travelers from Asia; so far, Qatar Airways has airlifted travelers through one-off services from destinations like Phnom Penh, Denpasar, Manila, and Kuala Lumpur to Europe. The airline is expecting to transport at least 15,000 passengers through these charter flights in the coming week.
What’s more, Qatar Airways’ Travel with Confidence and flight disruption policies have been amended to provide even more flexibility for those who have booked future trips. Those traveling on flights until September 30, 2020 can opt for a full refund via the form of payment at booking, although the administration process takes 30 days. A quicker alternative is to receive a travel voucher, which will reimburse passengers with the full value of their ticket and an additional 10 percent bonus based on the cost of the fare.
In the Asia-Pacific region, major cities such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Jakarta, as well as Sydney and Melbourne, are still accepting Qatar Airways flights.
The full list of destinations can be found here.