Qatar Airways To Drastically Slash Capacity By 75%

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Middle East carrier Qatar Airways is the latest airline to announce a capacity cut in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. As more and more countries introduce travel bans and entry-restrictions, many who would have otherwise flown the airline find themselves unable to travel. With its large fleet of widebodies – including 10 Airbus A380s, a 75% reduction for the airline is fairly significant.

The majority of Qatar Airways’ traffic transfers through Doha rather than making it a destination. Photo: Getty Images

Cutting capacity, slashing costs

[I]n the coming days we will operate a 75 per cent reduced schedule comparted to our business plan, grounding a significant portion of our fleet. -Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways

Reported by Wandering Aramean, an internal memo from the airline’s CEO calls for employees to “further study the costs we incur in our day-to-day business and to reduce or postpone those that are not critical to the airline.” The memo also states that Qatar Airways will seek to renegotiate contracts with its suppliers in order to further reduce expenses.

Simple Flying reached out to the airline for confirmation and this is the response we received:

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“Qatar Airways is making temporary schedule adjustments to its services due to the operational challenges caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). An ongoing review is being conducted regularly and the intention is to reinstate flights in line with a return to regular conditions and market demand.”

It was only two months ago that the airline was presenting at the Kuwait Aviation Show. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Travel restrictions around the world

Until recently, Qatar Airways was able to continue its operations despite the country of Qatar imposing travel restrictions for those wishing to enter the country. This is because the majority of Qatar Airways’ passenger traffic only connects through the airline’s Doha hub, with no intention of entering Qatar.

However, in the past week, we have seen countries around the world impose travel restrictions to discourage travel, attempting to contain the virus. One of the most significant moves was from the United States in banning travel from Europe. That has since extended to cross-border travel with Canada. The European Union was the next major travel ban. More recently we saw Australia and India put up their own travel restrictions as well.

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All of this equates to fewer travelers for Qatar Airways, raising the need to cut capacity and lower costs.

Qatar Airways has 10 Airbus A380s. Photo: Getty Images

Conclusion

Wandering Aramean also reports that Qatar Airways will accelerate its internal transformation plans. This includes operational restructuring and a reduction in the airline’s workforce. “I am optimistic about the future of our business and believe the market will rebound as the coordinated global response begins to contain the spread of the virus.” Al Baker writes in the memo.

“Similar to other airlines around the world we are operating a reduced network, however, we understand how important it is for many of our passengers to get home and still have access to flights. We want to reassure them we remain committed to operating services where possible at this challenging time.” -Qatar Airways

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If you have an upcoming flight with Qatar Airways, you are advised to check their airline’s website and ensure your booking has up-to-date contact information should the carrier attempt to notify you of any changes.

Are you likely to be affected by this news? Let us know in the comments.

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Chelliah Subbiah

Is QR729 operating during coming week ?

Manuel ANDRADE

Unfortunately no much the talk about.
I just hope qatar airways will refund my ticket 100%.

Manuel ANDRADE

Unfortunately no much to talk about.
I just hope qatar airways will refund my ticket 100%.

Nora Ball

Would be a good time for the airline to use this time to get their QSuites installed in all planes

Lois Shore

I’d like to know if I’m flying on the 30th march from Australia to Doha then on to Manchester. I cant get hold of anyone at Qatar airlines at all to find out if I’m still flying, I cant afford more money to change my ticket either.xx

Lois Shore

I’d like to know if I’m flying on the 30th march from Australia to Doha then on to Manchester. I cant get hold of anyone at Qatar airlines at all to find out if I’m still flying, I cant afford more money to change my ticket either, my flight is QR907 I hope it flies.x

SAMBA SIBA RAO

It’s a devastating situation all over the world. Not only the passengers it’s staff are also facing a difficult time Let us hope for the best at the earliest.

Ann Van Puyvelde

I don’t need a refund. I just would like to know if our flights from CMB to BRU on 30/3 Will stay confirmed (QR 669 and QR 193) because I van not join any Contactpoint of QR 🙁
PLEASE CONTACT ME !!

Chris

Not answering phones, So would like to know if I me flying home to man via Doha on 5/4/20🤔

Paul De Vries

I have to fly from Jhb South Africa to the USA. Does Qatar Airways still allow bookings between 23 March and 27 March 2020. Are there any available flights?

Maria Chico

I hope Qatar airways will reschedule my flight without any charges if I wish to,3 days before my schedule departure on 6 th April 2020.

Uwe

Qatar Airways has completely shut down their customer care and are not reachable via phone, e-mail etc. anymore. Other airlines are in the same boat, yet still reachable via phone. Qatar Airways has lost 2 stars in my opinion. In future I will stick to the likes of Lufthansa – it might not be a Qsuite seat (but honestly, who cares anymore?) but at least I can rely on them when I need their help….

Omalla Daniel

Hi is qr1387 coming.

Thierry

I take 2 planes bankok / doha / paris
Tomorrow 23 march
I hope can back my country
Qr833
Qr041

John A Jackson

Will we get advanced information if our flights are altered?

Anna Lumpkin

I have flights on April from Atlanta to Jakarta but seems all Atlanta flights are diverted to New York operated by JetBlue then passengers will be flying from NY to Doha. Thing is how Qatar goin to arrange my flight from Atl to Doha since the flight schedule on my ticket status says “not confirmed”
I really need to get out of US and return back to my home country.

Kim

QR’s Voucher valid for a year from date of purchase which I think not be able to travel. I am requesting a full refund even tho’ bought from third party website. Give back our full refund.

Habib

Yes, repeated cancellations of flights as my sister tries to return to Bangladesh from Washington DC. First the flights from IAD to Doha moved from daily to every other day. Today all of Qatar’s four daily flights to Dhaka were csncellled. At the moment they are “stranded” in Virginia

John Bowden

“ ensure your booking has up-to-date contact information should the carrier attempt to notify you of any changes.”.

All very well, however Qatar failed to notify us of the cancellation of our Haneda-Doha flight on March 31st – and still haven’t. The flight status service only shows flights up to a maximum of several days in advance and has been woefully inaccurate, initially showing “on time” for flights after 20th March despite it becoming painfully apparent from the reservations page that there was zero availability after this date – the first sign that flights were cancelled and how, by pure luck, we discovered the cancellation of our flight. Customer service reps informed us “your flight on the 31st is ok”, at the same time as saying “there are no operational flights after the 20th”.

Bottom line….check the reservations page rather than relying on the flight status service or customer services. It may be the first sign there is a problem…

L.AJ van Der Horst

Notification of flights

Yadab Chandra Rai

I couldn’t go to UK from Nepal on 22 Mar 20. How can i get the next flight as replacement? My booking Ref no is 5005884015 Thank you.

Evans

Yeah

Mulji Patel

I hope my flight is on schedule on March 27. So far it looks confirm. Flight 535 and 725

Tesfaye

My wife is in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia with return ticket of Qatar Airways on April 23, 2020, flight 729. Has this flight schedule changed? Would you you please send me any information you have about this flight

Howard

If possible I suggest you go in person to local QA office. I just had to change my Doha/London flight from 7th April to yesterday & they couldn’t have been more helpful.

Stephen Lewis

Yes I will be affected. My flight to the Philippines is due to fly out on monday 23rd march. With the lockdown in Manila I am unable to reach my final destination

Stephen Lewis

I am due to fly to manila in the Philippines via doha on Monday 23rd march. I cannot seem to get hold of anybody to advise me on what is happening and whether the flight is still scheduled to fly bearing in mind manila is in lockdown and I am unable to reach my final destination

Alfredo santos

Me & my wife are schedule to flight from manila to rome on may 4 2020 via Qatar airways and return from milan malpensa to manila on may 27 2020 we want to cancel this flight coz of Corona virus it’s possible to rebook this flight or refund

Leonie Mackenzie

I’m grounded in Morocco until further notice but am booked on a return flight to New Zealand from Marrakech on March 27. No chance of getting home any time soon. I have requested a full refund through The Flight Centre in Hamilton, NZ.

Lawrence J Derocher

I have a flight fro. Mumbai to Doha then on to Atlanta on 29th April. Will this be affected by the virus???

Jane Dubane

Is qatar airways fir 7/4/20 from manchester uk to gaborone Botswana still flying m booked to travel on this date

Andrew

Due to leave 1st April told I can’t leave from clark international which is a 10 min drive from where im staying and thay changed it to manila.problem is place is on lockdown no transport how do I get to manila.

Abiba Okunuga

My flight to Lagos Nigeria from Manchester airport is scheduled on the 18th of April. I tried Qatar airway on their UK phone but to no avail. I would like to know if the airline will be operational on that date. Kindly notify me of any changes.

Gemarie campbell

I am due to fly from Manila to Dublin on April 6th but it’s impossible for me to get to Manila as all domestic flights are cancelled in The Philippines until April 14 and I need a domestic flight to get my flight to Dublin on April 6. Plus Qatar airways are not answering phone calls or replying to email.. totally ridiculous

Shamimah Thiele

Our flight was supposed to take off from Singapore at 0200hrs on 23.03. We went into the app to try checking in, only to realise the flight has been cancelled. We didn’t get any prior notifications or emails and were left perplexed. Had we not tried checking in early, we would have went to the airport none the wiser.

Called their line and they simply mentioned it’s cancelled due to the virus, no one taking responsibility for not informing us about our cancelled flight that was happening in less than 48hours.

Pretty disappointing actually.

norvic

My flight on Qatar airways is on April 4, 2020, flying out of Clark International Airport to Doha then to Houston. My reservation disappeared? Tried to contact Qatar Airways but to no avail. I don’t have any means of transportation to go to Manila International Airport.

Lokesh

Yas Yas I am goesh to qatar but some problem, of covid 19

Sarah Edwards

Is flight QR901 flying from Perth to Manchester on Saturday 28th March

Antoinette Peterson

My flight is on the 7th April from London Heathrow to Qatar connecting flight to Sri Lanka colombo will i be able to fly considering the situation in Sri lanka

James Maroni

I’m a resident of Qatar and have put my name in to volunteer during the crisis. If Qatar airlines needs help answering the phones I’d be glad to help.

Gary Milne

Hi, I am meant to be flying Perth to Doha on Wednesday 25th, is this flight likely to be flying given the recent border closure?

Antoinette Peterson

My flight is on the 7 April from London Heathrow to Qatar connecting flight to Colombo SRI Lanka considering the situation in Sri Lanka

Saleem

I hv a flight on 21st april 2020 from chennai to houston
Will there ve any cancellations or changes?

S.buttner

My flight scheduled 1st june fom Auckland to Berlin with transfer Doha…hoping for refund.s.buttner

Gerda Vos

Hope to get my flight from Amsterdam to Perth on 30th march still wait and see

Muhammad Akhtar Zunoon

Yes

J doherty

Our return fight from AU’s Doha Manchester on 31 march Still going ahead as time off booking. Phone calls ignored PLEASE thank you

Elaine Thomas

Couldn’t get any info from Qatar. Kept
trying to phone no answer
My travel agent in UK tried to get us a flight from Goa to Manchester via doha but kept getting cancelled. Not once did I get email from Qatar disgraceful. Have now paid £2,500 to get BA flight

Anna-Lena Lundström

I have a return flight 15/4 from Kochi QR 517 -Doha – Copenhagen.
I can see it’s still confirmed.

Geraldine Chaneco

i just want to know if flights for cargoes ex MNL to various destination will be affected to this reduction.