New Delhi, Jan 19 (Agency) Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. The announcement follows a audit, carried out by the Skytrax team in December 2020, which assessed how effectively and consistently the airline’s stringent COVID-19 hygiene and safety standards and procedures are adhered to, from flight check-in to on-board aircraft. This included a full review of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation of hygiene and safety levels at all stages of the passenger journey, and on-board Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) sampling tests to measure the potential level of contamination of contact surfaces. The achievement of the Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating is in addition to Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), recently being named as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating in December 2020.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted that our commitment to providing the most rigorous and comprehensive COVID-19 safety programme in existence within the global aviation community has been recognised with the Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating. “It also provides assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. As Qatar Airways continues to deal with the ongoing impact and challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, we would like to reinforce the message that air travel does not need to be a source of concern to passengers.”
Skytrax Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Edward Plaisted, said: “We congratulate Qatar Airways on being awarded with the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating and being the world’s first major airline to be certified at this level. Qatar Airways kept flying throughout COVID-19, taking over 3.1 million people home since the start of the pandemic, and it is this experience that enables them to deliver an excellent standard of health and hygiene safety measures to keep customers and staff safe.” Qatar Airways’ on-board safety measures include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit for passengers. In addition, the airline also uses the most advanced HEPA air filtration systems on board all aircraft, and recently became the first global carrier to introduce Honeywell’s state-of-the-art Ultraviolet Cabin System, operated by Qatar Aviation Services, as a further step in the cleaning of its aircraft. Qatar Airways currently operates more than 800 weekly flights to over 110 destinations across the globe. By the end of March, Qatar Airways plans to rebuild its network to 130 destinations. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if they need to.