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Qatar Airways Remains Committed to A Sustainable Operation as it Rebuilds its Network

Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East, and just the fifth worldwide, to secure accreditation to the highest level in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Environmental Assessment programme

 

Airline is utilising its full fleet of 30 Boeing 787 and 49 Airbus A350 aircraft having grounded its fleet of 10 Airbus A380 due to environmental and commercial reasons

 

Benchmark figures identified that Qatar Airways’ fleet of A350 aircraft consumed 20 tonnes of CO2 less per block hour on certain routes compared to the A380

 

DOHA, Qatar Qatar Airways is one of the few global airlines to have never stopped flying throughout this crisis. The airline’s mix of modern fuel-efficient aircraft helped it to develop a sustainable and adapted solution, allowing it to continue flying routes with less overall demand as it has a variety of aircraft it can select from to offer the right capacity in each market. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has taken the decision to ground its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market.

Environmentally conscious passengers can travel with the reassurance that Qatar Airways continuously monitors the market to assess both passenger and cargo demand to ensure it operates the most efficient aircraft on each route. Finding the right balance between passenger and cargo demand has enabled the airline to continue operating its full fleet of Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft, helping take people home safely and providing reliable airfreight capacity to support global trade and the transport of essential medical and aid supplies.

Qatar Airways is the largest operator of A350 series aircraft, and was the launch customer for both the A350-900 and A350-1000. With a total of 49 A350 variants in the current fleet at an average age of 2.5 years, and a seating capacity optimized for the current market, the A350 is perfectly positioned to lead the airline’s rebuilding of its network. The 30 Boeing 787 aircraft in the Qatar Airways fleet also provide appropriate capacity to offer the right capacity on routes in Europe while markets recover. As the world prepares itself to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, Qatar Airways’ A350 fleet is the aircraft of choice for the most strategically important long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways Group has a strong record of industry leadership on sustainable operations. We take our responsibilities to care for the environment seriously and sustainability is at the forefront of our business planning across the group, this is why we have an average fleet age of less than five years, one of the youngest in the world. Thanks to our strategic and diversified investment in our fleet, the viability of our operations has not been dependent on any specific aircraft type. This has enabled us to be one of the few global airlines to never stop operating during this crisis, carrying over two million passengers and in the process becoming the largest international airline in the world. Our fleet mix has enabled us to continue operating routes throughout this crisis ensuring we do not leave passengers stranded.

"As we rebuild our network, passengers can rely on us to operate an honest schedule of flights to take them where they want to go, using the right size aircraft to offer sensible capacity on each route. As a result, we will not resume flying our fleet of A380 until demand returns to appropriate levels. Having closely studied the environmental impact numbers, flying such a large aircraft with a low load factor does not meet our environmental responsibilities or make commercial sense. Our young fleet of Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft are a much better fit for current global demand.”

Qatar Airways was the first airline in the Middle East to secure accreditation to the highest level in the IATA Environmental Assessment Programme. While its home and hub, Hamad International Airport, will be the first airport in the region to achieve a 4-star Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) rating as part of plans to expand its capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually by 2022.

While Qatar Airways has remained focused on its fundamental mission of taking people home and transporting essential aid to impacted regions, the airline has not forgotten its environmental responsibilities. The airline’s internal benchmark compared the A380 to the A350 on routes from Doha to London, Guangzhou, Frankfurt, Paris, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto and New York. On a typical one-way flight, the airline found the A350 aircraft saved a minimum of 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide per block hour compared to the A380. The analysis found that the A380 emitted over 80% more CO2 per block hour than the A350 on each of these routes. In the cases of Melbourne, New York and Toronto the A380 emitted 95% more CO2 per block hour with the A350 saving around 20 tonnes of CO2 per block hour. Until passenger demand recovers to appropriate levels, Qatar Airways will continue to keep its A380 aircraft grounded, ensuring it only operates commercially and environmentally responsible aircraft.

Qatar Airways’ focus on sustainability also extends to its home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), which was recently voted ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ and ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row. It recently announced plans to expand capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually by 2022, further positioning itself as the airport of choice in the region for savvy international travellers. The terminal building will be the first airport in the MENA region to achieve a 4-star Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) rating, which was developed for rating green buildings and infrastructures. The terminal will also be a LEED Silver certified building, featuring a number of innovative energy efficiency measures.

Globally, Qatar Airways relaunched 11 destinations on 1 July including Bali Denpasar, Beirut, Belgrade, Berlin, Boston, Edinburgh, Larnaca, Los Angeles, Prague, Washington DC, and Zagreb. This marks the largest number of route resumptions in a single day since Qatar Airways started to rebuild its network in what the airline has dubbed ‘Takeoff Wednesday’. By the end of July, its network will expand to more than 450 weekly flights to over 70 destinations worldwide.

Qatar Airways has further enhanced its onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew. The airline has introduced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew, which includes gloves, facemasks, safety glasses and a new protective gown that is fitted over their uniforms. A modified service that reduces interactions between passengers and the crew inflight has also been introduced. 

Onboard, all Qatar Airways passengers are now provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch, they will find a single-use surgical facemask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel. The airline has also introduced disposable face shields for adults and children. Passengers travelling from Hamad International Airport (HIA) will receive their face shields at the check-in counters, whereas at other destinations, the face shields will be distributed at the boarding gates. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

To ensure travellers can plan their travel with peace of mind, the airline has extended its booking policies to offer even more choice to its passengers. The airline will allow unlimited date changes, and passengers can change their destination as often as they need if it is within 5,000 miles of the original destination. The airline will not charge any fare differences for travel completed before 31 December 2020, after which fare rules will apply. All tickets booked for travel up to 31 December 2020 will be valid for two years from the date of issuance. For full terms and conditions visit www.qatarairways.com/RelyOnUs.

Qatar Airways is committed to openly reporting on its sustainability performance in order to maintain the trust on which its long-term environmental leadership is built. Please visit its Environment website to view the latest Sustainability Report and Environmental Policy. 

Notes to Editors:

About Qatar Airways: 

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted “Skytrax Airline of the Year” title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Hamad International Airport (HIA), the airline’s home and hub, was recently ranked “Third Best Airport in the World”, among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. Rising from fourth position in 2019 to third in 2020, HIA has been steadily rising in the ‘World's Best Airports’ rankings since the start of its operations in 2014. In addition, HIA was voted the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row.

Qsuite, a patented Qatar Airways product, features the industry’s first-ever double bed in Business Class, as well as privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room, a first of its kind in the industry.

Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 160 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, B777, A350, A380, A319 and select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways proudly supports a range of exciting international and local initiatives dedicated to enriching the global community that it serves. Qatar Airways, the official FIFA partner, is the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the FIFA 2022 World Cup, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message - Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, one of the world’s leading international air cargo carriers, serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its world-class Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 160 key business and leisure destinations globally on more than 250 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes two Boeing 747-8 freighters, 21 Boeing 777 freighters and five Airbus A330 freighters.

Qatar Executive is the private jet charter division of Qatar Airways Group. Luxury jet services are available for worldwide charter on board the operator’s wholly-owned business jet fleet. Qatar Executive is the launch customer for Gulfstream’s G700, the world’s first commercial service operator of the Gulfstream G500 and largest commercial operator of the G650ER worldwide. Qatar Executive's service portfolio also includes aircraft management, maintenance and Fixed Based Operator services.

For further information, please contact:

Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department

Tel: +974 4022 2200

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