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Crew Change Crisis

Qatar Airways repatriates over 150,000 seafarers, creates dedicated Mariner Lounge

Photo: Qatar Airways qatarairways.jpg
Qatar Airways reports that it has played an important part in the repatriation of seafarers stranded due to the pandemic, bringing home more than 150,000 marine personnel on hundreds of chartered and scheduled flights.

The airline has even established a dedicated Mariner Lounge at Hamad International Airport for use by seafarer and offshore worker passengers between their transit flights. Facilities include unlimited high-speed wi-fi, showers, a tv area, reading materials and a Business Centre.

Charter flights for maritime workers have been operated to many destinations not previously served by Qatar Airways, including Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Bridgetown, Barbados; Lomé, Togo; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. 

In addition, Qatar Airways says it maintained operations throughout the pandemic to many important locations for seafarers, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Oslo, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Singapore, and thanks to support of the maritime industry was also able to start scheduled services to Cebu and Clark in the Philippines.

“Qatar Airways recognises the vital role shipping plays and how seafarers are essential to keeping the global economy open and operating,” comments Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker. “Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with governments and the maritime industry to operate as many flights as possible to facilitate crew changes and to reunite seafarers with their families and loved ones.”

Qatar Airways claims to have repatriated more seafarers than any other airline and pledges that it will remain “open for business” to facilitate essential business travel such as that of seafarers. 

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