Airline says statistics show only 0.1% of them have tested positive for COVID-19.
#QatarAirways reveals that 99.988% of the 4.6 million passenger flown sectors operated have been COVID-19-free, and less than one per cent (0.002%) of operating cabin crew have been affected by COVID-19 since February 2020. pic.twitter.com/hMAO4iXfoq
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) October 19, 2020
In the last eight months, only 582 positive cases have been reported among passengers on flights operated by QA, with the national carrier operating more than 37,000 COVID-19-free flights since February 2020.
“These latest statistics are a clear indication that, with the adoption of the right measures such as meticulous on-board safety, hygiene and social distancing procedures in place at airports, and compliance with the testing and entry requirements of local authorities, air travel does not need to be a source of concern to passengers,” said Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive.
However, it is unclear whether the statistics are based on those who were only tested upon their arrival at their destination or every passenger flown, given that some countries do not require their passengers to be tested or quarantined when they arrive. Qatar, among other countries, requires passengers to take a COVID-19 test before and after arrival, in addition to a quarantining period.
Doha News reached out to Qatar Airways for clarification but have not heard back.
QA also reported that to date, less than one percent (0.002%) of operating cabin crew have been affected whilst on the job, with no new cases recorded since strict precautionary measures were implemented.
“From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have introduced the most rigorous and stringent virus monitoring, detection and on-board hygiene programme in existence within the global aviation community. As an industry, we want to ensure the recovery of commercial aviation by encouraging passengers to feel confident that they are safe and protected, from departure to arrival, with all airlines,” Al Baker said.
To ensure safe travel during the pandemic, QA has introduced several safety measures for passengers and cabin crew, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers.
“Given the extremely low numbers of cases travelling on flights and the even lower risk of transmission, with a recent IATA [International Air Transport Association] study finding 1 in 27 million travellers had contracted COVID-19 on board a flight, passengers can travel with peace of mind with the knowledge that flying continues to be the safest form of travel,” Al Baker added.
Back in June, IATA data showed that Qatar Airways’ share of international traffic was more than triple its nearest competitor, with the airline’s operations accounting for 17.8% of all international passenger traffic and 7.2% of air cargo flights.
In addition, the airline was the first entity in the world to achieve independent verification from BSI (British Standards Institution) for its implementation of COVID-19 ICAO Aviation Health Safety Protocols.
“Whilst these numbers may be low, we will continue to fastidiously monitor global developments in the fight to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as work closely with local health authorities to support with tracing activities whenever a positive case is confirmed and they have travelled with us within the time range of the incubation period,” Al Baker said.