MIAMI — Qatar Airways has become the 11th major carrier to suspend its operation to mainland China after the outbreak of Coronavirus.
The announcement, made on February 1, comes into effect on February 3. Qatar Airways says that there is no estimated date to resume operations, but they are conducting weekly reviews on the hiatus.
One of the biggest challenges facing Qatar Airways is the restrictions that other countries have put in place for anyone who has visited mainland China recently. This has made crew rostering strenuous on the winder Qatar network, forcing them to stop operations.
“We have been placed in a challenging operational situation where the airline cannot continue with its global operations as a result of these restrictions on anyone who has visited China,” explained Akbar Al Baker, GCEO of the airline.
“If we continue operations, the significant numbers of crew who would have traveled to China would be limited to operate on certain flights, reducing our operational effectiveness. We will immediately resume our operations to China once the governmental restrictions are lifted.”
At the time of writing, Qatar Airways joins an evergrowing list of Airlines who have either scaled back their Chinese operation or ceased all together:
- Air Canada – Reduced amount of flights
- Air India
- Asiana Airlines
- Jeju Air
- Finnair – Will still operate Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai
- British Airways
- Austrian Airlines
- American Airlines
- KLM Royal Dutch