Qatar Airways Ace’s Coronavirus Airline Safety Rating
Speaking to reporters recently about the probable need for COVID-19 vaccination certificates to travel in the future, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker commented that one of the carrier's highest priorities during the pandemic is the safety of passengers and crew. He went on to say, "We invest to look after them and at the same time to give them confidence that they can travel with Qatar Airways". Throughout the COVID pandemic, the airline has undoubtedly been committed to protecting its crew and passengers' health and well-being by implementing best practice safety and hygiene measures and investing in state-of-the-art technology to reduce potential contamination on-board their flights. In fact, even during the height of the virus crisis, the Qatar Airways network managed to continue operating consistently. It is small wonder then that Skytrax has awarded the group a 5-Star COVID Airline Safety Rating.
The Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Award
Skytrax is an international airline and airport 'rating' consultancy that works to improve air transport quality across the globe. The company awards carriers and airports with a variety of annual accolades based on their services and performance. The awards are coveted within the air transport industry as they are seen as a global benchmark for air transport excellence.
In the last year, Skytrax has introduced the world's only coronavirus airline safety audit and certification system. The idea behind the new award is to enhance passenger and staff well-being through the thorough assessment of airline and airport health and safety measures. The audit is based on professional and scientific investigations of the airline industry's safety protocols, including frontline testing of cleaning and sanitising efficiency using ATP bioluminescence testing.
Ratings are available from 3-Stars to 5-Stars. A five-star rating validates an airline or airports performance as 'excellent' in terms of its protocols and standards to provide a COVID-safe, contactless and socially distanced journey for customers, levels of cleanliness and sanitation, and hygiene monitoring.
Qatar Airways was the first global airline to achieve the 5-Star rating.
Safe On-Board Travel
For passengers and staff travelling on-board Qatar Airways flights, Skytrax's verification of the carrier's commitment to COVID-safety is highly comforting. But, for anyone who has flown with the airline in the last year, the award is an obvious honour. As soon as the pandemic broke, Qatar Airway immediately implemented strict safety and hygiene measures on-board every flight.
The airline provides staff with full-body PPE, and its customers with protective kits containing a face mask, gloves and hand sanitiser gel, and face shields to wear during their journey. Each aircraft is, following every flight, sanitised and disinfected, and on-board all service equipment, headsets, linen and bedding are deep cleaned. The company has also invested in Honeywell Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System cleaning technology - a portable ultraviolet-c light system capable of reducing certain viruses and bacteria found on surfaces – including SARS CoV and MERS CoV. The system, roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart, with extendable arms to treat both sides of the cabin at once, can cover a mid-sized craft in just 10 minutes. The technology will help maintain the health and safety of crew and passengers now and into the future. Reassuringly, the airline has also been systematic in assessing its procedures throughout the pandemic to ensure they remain in line with global and national authorities' advice and guidance.
As a result, Qatar Airways has maintained the highest safety levels and continued to operate throughout the crisis.
Safety On The Ground
Hamad International Airport (HIA), in response to the coronavirus crisis, implemented robust and stringent health and safety protocols and invested in intelligent cleaning systems, thermal imaging and security screening technology, and smart technology, including biometrics and contactless tech. All of these enabled HIA to continue providing their customers with the convenience and efficiency they have come to expect and safeguard staff and passenger well-being during the pandemic. As a result HIA also awarded a 5-Star Skytrax rating for COVID safety at the end of 2020.
The Skytrax award illustrates to staff, passengers and all stakeholders that the best practices in health and safety are being upheld at HIA. Travellers should not only be reassured that their flights are COVID-safe, but they should also be confident that their journey through Qatar's airport will be equally as safe.
For more information on HIA’s efforts to normalise travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, read our Hamad International Airport and the New ‘Normal’ For Travel article.
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