Qatar Airways is assisting with the repatriation of seafarers who have been stranded due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The airline is closely collaborating with governments and the maritime industry to operate hundreds of chartered and scheduled services to repatriate more than 150,000 workers.
The carrier has established a dedicated Mariner Lounge at Hamad International Airport (HIA), which allows seafarers and offshore worker passengers to relax and enjoy refreshments in the exclusive Mariner Lounge while they wait for their flight. The lounge offers an international selection of F&B, high-speed WiFi, shower facilities, a television area, reading materials and a Business Centre.
Armed with a global network of over 100 destinations, a selection of fuel-efficient aircraft and the highly respected HIA, Qatar Airways has been able to seamlessly support the maritime industry to repatriate workers and facilitate crew changes.
The Qatari carrier has operated charters for maritime workers to many destinations that it has not previously served, such as Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Bridgetown, Barbados; Lomé, Togo; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Adding to this, it sustained operations throughout the pandemic to many important locations for seafarers, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Oslo, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Singapore.
With the support of the maritime industry, Qatar Airways was also able to establish scheduled services to Cebu and Clark in the Philippines.
Chief executive, Qatar Airways Group, HE Akbar Al Baker declared: “Qatar Airways recognises the vital role shipping plays and how seafarers are essential to keeping the global economy open and operating. As a gesture of our thanks and to show our support to the industry, we have established a dedicated Mariner Lounge at Hamad International Airport that is complimentary for all seafarers and offshore workers travelling with Qatar Airways. While waiting for their connecting flight they can relax in comfort and enjoy the wide variety of refreshments on offer.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with governments and the maritime industry to operate as many flights as possible to facilitate crew changes and to reunite seafarers with their families and loved ones. While other airlines stopped flying, Qatar Airways pledges to remain open for business to facilitate essential business travel. With plans to further expand our network to more than 125 destinations, we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to continue to be the airline of choice to keep seafarers and the global economy moving,” he added.