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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Qatar Airways operates world’s first ‘fully vaccinated flight’


A Qatar Airways flight departed Hamad International Airport on Tuesday, but this wasn’t just any flight.

Qatar Airways hosted its first ever fully vaccinated flight on Tuesday, the national carrier confirmed.

The flight took off from Hamad International Airport on Tuesday and landed back at the main Doha airport after a three-hour cruise above Qatari and Omani skies.

The move made the national carrier the first airline in the world to operate a flight carrying an all vaccinated crew and passengers, with travellers also served by fully vaccinated staff at check-in.

QR6421 departed Hamad International Airport at 11:00 AM.

“The special flight, which will return to Doha at 14:00, will showcase all the measures the airline has put in place to ensure the highest standards of safety and hygiene on board, including its latest innovation, the world’s first ‘Zero-Touch’ in-flight entertainment technology,” according to the multi-award winning airline. 

The first flight of its kind will be operated by the “airline’s most technologically advanced and sustainable aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000, with the flight also fully carbon offset in line with the carrier’s environmental responsibilities,” it added. 

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said the latest move by QA opens a door to recovery of international travel.

“We are proud to continue leading the industry by operating the first flight with a fully vaccinated crew and passengers and providing a beacon of hope for the future of international aviation,” he said. 

With aviation being a critical economic driver both globally and here in the State of Qatar, we are thankful for the support we have received from our government and local health authorities to vaccinate our staff, with over 1,000 vaccinations being administered per day,” he added.

Read also: Qatar Airways updates PCR test requirements for 13 countries

The airline has always maintained a distinguished reputation, especially since the pandemic erupted in 2020. QA was the first airline in the world to claim the prestigious 5-Star Covid-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax.

This follows HIA’s latest success in achieving independent verification for its implementation of Covid-19 International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Aviation Health Safety Protocols from the British Standards Institution (BSI).

“When the pandemic hit its peak in early April, our airline continued flying to help repatriate millions of stranded passengers and transport essential medical supplies, while also implementing the latest innovations in biosafety and hygiene,” Al Baker added.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways Cargo has also delivered close to 20,000,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to over 20 countries.

The national airline was also the first in the region to start trials of the innovative new IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app. 

IATA Travel Pass offers travellers up-to-date information on covid related health guidelines at their destination country. Additionally, it carries Covid-19 PCR test results that are required to undertake a trip.

The multiple award-winning airline was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. 

It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’.

Meanwhile, to deal with the pandemic, Hamad International Airport introduced robotics, advanced thermal screening, strictly implemented a 1.5m physical distancing rule across all passenger touch-points around the facility.

Read also: Digital travel pass set to take-off this month

It also conducts regular disinfection of all baggage trolleys and tubs.

HIA was also one of the few airports to introduce paperless air travel through its implementation of biometric identification services at key airport touch-points, such as self-service bag-drop, pre-immigration, e-gate and self-boarding gates.

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