Qatar Airways has signed an interline agreement with FlySafair, further connecting South Africans to the airline’s rapidly expanding global network via Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. The agreement with Safair will provide 10 domestic connections including; Port Elizabeth International Airport, East London Airport, and George Airport.
Qatar Airways’ passengers will benefit from access to 10 additional sectors in South Africa, adding more connectivity and flexible booking options when selecting their next trip.
Qatar Airways is believed to be the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System, further advancing its hygiene measures onboard. In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied. In July, Qatar Airways further increased its health and safety measures onboard by introducing new personal protective equipment (PPE) for customers and cabin crew. The airline’s robust measures included offering face shields to all passengers, in addition to a disposable protective gown for cabin crew, which is fitted over their uniforms, in addition to safety glasses, gloves and a mask.
Onboard, all Qatar Airways passengers are provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch, a single-use face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel are offered. Business Class customers also receive an additional 75ml sanitiser gel tube. In addition, for aircraft equipped with Qsuite, Qatar Airways’ award-winning business seat, Business Class customers are offered even greater privacy with sliding partitions and fully closing doors, and an option to display a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator if they wish to limit their interactions with cabin crew.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the airline has also applied other additional health and safety measures on-board 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 social distancing measures.
HIA, the airline’s hub in Doha, has also introduced UV-C disinfectant robots which are fully autonomous mobile devices emitting concentrated UV-C light, and are deployed in high passenger flow areas to reduce the spread of pathogens. The Oryx Airport Hotel at HIA has also implemented UV-C light to monitor and ensure a thorough cleaning process across all rooms, using a pen only visible under UV light to mark frequent touchpoints. The marked areas undergo the highest levels of sanitisation before being checked and analysed, allowing the hotel management to further enhance its cleaning techniques and standards.
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. Hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points.