Qatar Airways mandates full-body protective gear for flight attendants

Passengers will also be required to wear masks per the Gulf carrier's new onboard safety measures as it looks to expand flights amid the crisis.

al-monitor An Airbus A350-1000 aircraft of Qatar Airways is pictured after a delivery ceremony at the French headquarters of aircraft company Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, Feb. 20, 2018.  Photo by REUTERS/Regis Duvignau.

May 19, 2020

Qatar Airways is mandating that its cabin crews wear full-body protective suits as the airline navigates through the COVID-19 crisis.

The Gulf carrier’s chief executive said the measures were necessary because the airline is still flying despite the virus.

“Seeing as we are still flying the world’s largest international network by operating flights to more than 30 destinations around the world, and aiming to grow our network again in the coming months, these onboard safety measures will assist us in achieving our goals,” Akbar Al Baker said in a press release.

Qatar Airways’ flight attendants will now wear white personal protective equipment over their uniforms including gloves, goggles and face masks. Passengers must also wear masks and hand sanitizer will be available on flights. Social areas aboard the planes will also be closed, among other coronavirus-mitigating measures, the release said.

Qatar Airways is unique among Middle Eastern airlines for continuing regular passenger flights to several continents amid the crisis.

The airline has struggled with the downturn in global travel, however. Qatar Airways is currently seeking billions in loans and is both deferring employees’ pay and cutting jobs. On the other hand, the airline plans to expand its list destinations this month and the next.

In other positive news for regional airlines, Dubai-based Emirates will resume international passenger flights this week. 

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