The carrier is expected to offer global connectivity to Chinese travelers with transit points in the Middle East
Qatar Airways said China’s impressive COVID-19 control measures had given it the confidence to increase services between the two countries.
The Doha-based airline said it would further expand its operations in China by increasing the frequency of flights and the number of destinations, if local policies and the industry environment allow.
The carrier said it was gradually resuming flights around the world. Almost 80% of its flights have resumed, which is faster than many other large-scale carriers, despite the fact that the global air transport market is still reeling from the impact of COVID-19.
On December 22, Qatar Airways resumed passenger service between Hangzhou, Zhejiang province and Doha. The weekly flight will use a Boeing 777-300ER.
Qatar Airways is now the only passenger carrier from Hangzhou to Doha. The return flight from Doha to Hangzhou will have no passengers but only freight. In July, the carrier resumed its weekly flights between Guangzhou, Guangdong province and Doha.
Hangzhou flights will join existing services from Guangzhou to Doha, as well as Hong Kong flights with connections through our airline partners for passengers from Beijing and Shanghai. We look forward to providing business and leisure customers Chinese better global connectivity “. said Thomas Scruby, vice president of sales for Australia and North Asia at Qatar Airways.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic this year, Qatar’s national airline has carried more than 2.8 million passengers on 47,000 flights.
Lin Tangyi, a Doha-based Chinese flight attendant who has worked for Qatar Airways for three years, said it has become common for her to report to work with protective clothing, masks and goggles.
Lin said, “Compared to many other airlines that stopped operating international flights during the outbreak, we still operate a large number of long-haul international flights. With the recent resurgence of contagion, we have mostly stayed in hotels at foreign destinations., and tried not to go out.
“Today there are hardly any travel groups on the flights. Most of the passengers are students studying abroad and people on business trips. The cabin is quieter than usual. Passengers usually read or watch movies and rarely communicate with others.
“Passengers have also shown higher requirements for cabin cleaning and they prefer to eat food in independent sealed packages.”
At the end of 2018, Qatar Airways acquired a 5% stake in China Southern Airlines. From December 27, Qatar Airways launched the first stage of codeshare cooperation with China Southern for its flights between Guangzhou and Doha.
Next, China Southern will also place its code on Qatar Airways flights between Beijing and Doha, once the current pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Wu Guoxiang, senior vice president of international and commercial relations at China Southern Airlines, said, “We have high expectations of the partnership between Qatar Airways and China Southern. This year, the global airline industry has faced unprecedented challenges and we look forward to a quick recovery.
“We believe that bilateral cooperation will be an important element in the process of industry recovery and greatly promote air connectivity between countries and regions.”
The year 2020 marks the 17th year since Qatar Airways began operations in China. With the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar, the airline said it hopes to serve more Chinese passengers in the future.
“Serving as air transport hubs, cities in the Middle East have their advantages in terms of location. They are located in the middle of Europe and Asia, and have become ideal transit points for those who travel. between the two continents, ”said Lin Zhijie, an airline. Industry analyst and columnist at Carnoc, a major civil aviation website in China.
“Local governments in the Middle East also highly regard the development of these cities in the region as hubs of international aviation,” he said.