Passengers who fly Qatar Airlines are now required to wear a face shield, in addition to a face mask or covering, throughout their flight, and will be given a complimentary protective kit onboard.
The disposable face shield will be available in two standard sizes – one for adults and the other for children. The children’s face shields feature the airline’s Oryx Kids Club mascots as part of their design. Passengers traveling from Hamad International Airport (HIA) will receive their face shields at the check-in counters, whereas at other destinations, the face shields will be distributed at the boarding gates.
Onboard, all Qatar Airways passengers will be provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch they will find a single-use surgical face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel. Business Class customers will also be offered an additional 75ml sanitiser gel tube.
Qatar Airways has also introduced new disposable protective gowns for cabin crew that are fitted over their uniforms, in addition to safety glasses, gloves and a mask.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the safety of our passengers has been our highest priority. By introducing these additional onboard safety and hygiene measures, our customers can rely on us and our unparalleled expertise to fly them safely to their destination. As the largest international airline flying consistently throughout the pandemic, we have become one of the most experienced in safety and hygiene. We will continue to lead the industry in terms of the services offered to our passengers, so that they can travel with confidence.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the airline said it has also applied other additional health and safety measures onboard its flights. Business Class meals are served covered on a tray instead of a table set up, and a cutlery wrap is offered to passengers as an alternative to individual cutlery service, in an effort to minimise contact between crew and passengers. Qatar Airways has also introduced single-use menu cards and sealed refreshing wipes. Economy Class meals and cutlery are served sealed as usual, and menu cards have been temporarily discontinued. All social areas onboard the aircraft have been closed adhering to the social distancing measures.
Qatar Airways’ aircraft are regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
All the airline’s onboard linen and blankets are washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are sanitized after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves, it said.
Cabin crew have received training on how to minimize their chances of contracting or spreading the infection, are thermally screened before the departure of flights and after their arrival, and are quarantined and tested if any colleagues or passengers on a flight shows any symptoms of infection or test positive for the virus.
In addition, HIA has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. All passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and every boarding gate and bus gate counter is cleaned after each flight. In addition, hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points.