COVID-19: Qatar Airways adds more seats/flights to help people go home

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (NNN) — Qatar Airways says it has added 10,000 extra seats since Tuesday as part of its efforts to help people get to their home countries amid the COVID-19 scare.

In a statement here today, the airlines said it has been also providing charter services to Europe and the US from Asia, as well as additional flights to Paris, Perth and Dublin from Doha.

It said figures the past week showed load factors of over 80 percent for flights to the UK, France and Germany, with a fall to 36 percent for outbound services from those countries, illustrating the demand for homeward travel.

Qatar Airways has flown more than 100,000 passengers home in the last seven days while 72 percent of passengers carried on 24 March were nationals flying to their country of origin.

Working with embassies around the world, the airline has operated one-off services from destinations such as Phnom Penh, Denpasar, Manila and Kuala Lumpur to Europe. More than 5,000 passengers were flown home by these services over the last week, a number that is expected to more than triple over the next week.

Qatar Airways said it is currently operating flights to 75 destinations but added that this number may reduce as nations introduce tighter restrictions.