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QATAR: Adds Flights WTF?

QATAR: Adds Flights WTF?

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Introduction

With nearly every airline slashing flights or shutting down completely during this COVID-19 crisis, there is one airline that’s actually ramping things up.

Qatar Airways adds flights

Like many other airlines, Qatar recently shut down its A380 fleet. Well, now it is upgrading capacity on some routes by swapping out other aircraft, and replacing them with A380’s! Not only that, but it is also adding flights to some routes. According to Aviationpros, they are:

  • 10,000 extra seats added to Qatar’s network;
  • Providing charter services to Europe and the US from Asia;
  • Extra flights to Paris, Perth and Dublin from Doha.
  • Upgraded services to Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Perth with Airbus A380s.

Why the increase in capacity?

Well, as it always is with the airline industry, its about load factors. Qatar has had load factors of over 80% for flights between Doha and the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The demand is all homeward thought. Load factors on flights out of those destinations are averaging around 36%.

“Qatar Airways has flown more than 100,000 passengers home in the last seven days while 72 percent of passengers carried on 24 March were nationals flying to their country of origin.

So Qatar is in the repatriation market, returning more than 5,000 European residents from destinations such as:

  • Phnom Penh
  • Denpasar
  • Manila
  • Kuala Lumpur

Qatar is preparing to transport more than triple that number in the next week.

‘Qatar Airways is currently operating flights to 75 destinations, though this number may reduce as nations introduce tighter restrictions.’

Qatar looks like it is making hay while the sun shines with these flights, given that Qatar (the country) itself has effectively closed its borders.

This sort of ‘repatriation’ activity doesn’t come without risks, what with flight attendants criss-crossing the world and passengers and crew transiting Jamad International Airport, potentially interacting with thousands of passengers and airport and airline staff.

Where Qatar is flying to

Qatar is constantly updating what flights are on or off, and what destinations it is servicing. If you want to check, then your best to go here for an overview of routes that are still current.

In Australia/NZ, Qatar is currently still flying to:

  • Auckland  International Airport (AKL)
  • Canberra Airport (CBR)
  • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL)
  • Perth Airport (PER)
  • Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD)

2PAXfly Takeout

Qatar has over 500 cases of COVID-19, so it is not unscathed by the crisis. This also means that increased international travel through Hamad International Airport is not without risk.

On the other hand, there is a demand across the world for repatriation flights. Australians in South America, or about to disembark from cruise ships in Italy, are screaming for someone to do something about getting them back to Australia. At the moment they are targeting the Australian Government, and Qantas, but maybe they should be appealing to Qatar Airways?

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