First in the World: Qatar Airways earns 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Qatar Airways
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In a world’s first, state-owned flag carrier Qatar Airways has gained the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organization, Skytrax.

Earlier in December 2020, Skytrax had conducted a detailed audit to assess how effectively and consistently the airline’s stringent COVID-19 hygiene and safety standards and procedures are adhered to, from flight check-in to onboard aircraft.

The comprehensive audit included a full review of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation of hygiene and safety levels at all stages of the passenger journey, and onboard Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) sampling tests to measure the potential level of contamination of contact surfaces.

Speaking about the achievement, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, stated that, “As an industry leader and the ‘World’s Best Airline’, as named by Skytrax, we are well-used to setting the standard for others to follow. We are delighted that our commitment to providing the most rigorous and comprehensive COVID-19 safety program in existence within the global aviation community has been recognized with the Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating.”

The Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive remarked that “This achievement highlights the fastidious measures and procedures Qatar Airways have employed to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our passengers throughout the global pandemic to date, and follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport 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, Mr. Al Baker observed while stating that “In the meantime, we look forward to continuing to provide the safest possible experience for travelers across the world, and expanding upon our role in assisting the recovery of the commercial aviation industry over the coming months.”

Earlier, Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) was 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.

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.”