Over the past three months, became the largest operating airline in the world, taking more than 1.8 million passengers home despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
"During this crisis, more passengers have chosen to fly with Qatar Airways than any other airline, and we appreciate the trust they have placed in us," said Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. "We have become the largest global carrier flying over 50 million kilometers to repatriate over 1.8 million passengers on over 15,000 flights. This has enabled us to accumulate unrivaled experience of how to safely and reliably carry passengers during these uncertain times."
He added that the airline implements the most advanced safety and hygiene measures aboard their aircraft, and in Qatar Airways hub Hamad International Airport.
"Qatar Airways is a carrier that has been recognized as the World’s Best Airline on five occasions by Skytrax, built significant goodwill with governments and embassies as we assisted stranded citizens and most importantly, been available non-stop for stranded passengers during the pandemic. We have been here 24/7 during the darkest days and will continue to be a friend in need as confidence returns and people restart their travel plans," Al Baker noted.
According to the press release, the airline has also worked closely with governments, and companies around the world to operate over 220 charters and extra sector flights helping reunite over 62,000 people with their families.
As the Budapest Business Journal reported earlier, the airline plans to expand its network to 80 destinations by the end of the month, with more routes to be added by the end of the summer season. Taking the pandemic into consideration, the airline has extended its booking policies to offer even more choice to its passengers. The airline will allow unlimited date changes, and passengers can change their destination as often as they need if it is within 5,000 miles of the original destination. Full terms and conditions are available here.
The airline’s cargo division has significantly increased operations to support global trade and the transport of essential medical and aid supplies to impacted regions. The air freight carrier operates around 180 flights per day, utilizing passenger aircraft to carry freight-only in addition to the airline’s fleet of 28 freighters.
Working closely with governments and NGOs around the globe, Qatar Airways Cargo has transported more than 175,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions, the equivalent of roughly 1,750 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters.
These unprecedented times have seen the airline operate services to many destinations for the first time, helping repatriate stranded travelers and deliver essential supplies. Some of the new destinations include Brisbane, Christchurch, Port Moresby, Toronto, and Vancouver for passenger flights and Perth, Valencia, and Warsaw for freighter flights.