Qatar Airways cabin crew to wear hazmat suits on flights

Flight attendants with Qatar Airways will wear disposable hazmat suits, safety googles, gloves and masks over their uniforms to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the airline announced Monday.

The safety measures coincide with efforts by the Persian Gulf carrier to limit crew members’ interactions with passengers, who will be required to wear masks on board starting May 25.

Passengers in business class will have the option of hitting the “Do not disturb” sign if they want to limit contact. And meals in business class will be served on a tray, instead of the usual table setup, and cutlery will come wrapped.

Bottles of hand sanitizer will also be made available in galleys for crew members and passengers.

Cabin crew have been wearing the personal protective equipment for weeks now, the airline said. Crew members have received training on preventing the spread of Covid-19 and are thermally screened before and after flights.

“At Qatar Airways, we have introduced these additional safety measures onboard our flights to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of our passengers and cabin crew, and to limit the spread of coronavirus. As an airline, we maintain the highest possible hygiene standards to ensure that we can fly people home safely during this time and provide even greater reassurance that safety is our number one priority,” Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“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.”

Other airlines including Philippines Airlines and AirAsia are also requiring their crew to wear PPE.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways , which continues to operate flights to more than 30 destinations around the world, is set to put 52 destinations back on the map by the end of May and increase the number to 80 by the end of June.

Maldives is included amongst the destinations the Qatari flag carrier plans to restart operations to by the end of June.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar Airways was operating 21 flights per week between Doha and Male. It was the last international airline to operate scheduled flights to the Maldives before the country closed its borders in late March.

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