Qatar Airways wants to make their passengers present a proof of Covid-19 vaccination prior to boarding.
The airline CEO Akbar Al Baker said last week that the “vaccination certificate to board an airplane” would be “the new norm.”
Al Baker becomes the second airline top executive who openly suggests that vaccination could become requirement to fly.
In December last year Alan Joyce, the CEO of Australia’s buggiest airline Qantas said he wanted to incorporate a vaccination travel requirement into the airline’s policy. Thus, the rule would become mandatory for anyone who wants to fly Qantas.
It is apparent that airlines try to regain passengers’ confidence. They want to prove it is safe to travel when everyone on-board is being vaccinated. It is similar to how some countries require permanent residents to get certain vaccines in order to stay in the country.
Qatar CEO also expressed concern that travel will not come back to the levels in 2019 “for the foreseeable future.”
Quite a different statement Al Baker made in a Twitter post from July last year where he sounded much more optimistic.
At that time he stated that he had “every confidence the industry will bounce back.”
However, as yet another serge of Covid-19 cases ravages the airline industry throughout much of Europe a near future recovery seems bleak.
In 2019 Qatar Airways reported a loss of $639 million as reported by Simple Flying. As of fiscal year ending March 31, 2020 Qatar stated yet another loss of $1.9 billion.
As most airlines Qatar has been affected significantly by the pandemic. Getting the airline back on track is of utmost importance to their CEO.
However, will the vaccination requirement be possible to implement is yet to be seen. It very much depends on how fast countries are able to distribute and proceed with mass vaccination.
If Qatar imposes a vaccination mandate for traveling prematurely many passengers will have to avoid the airline simply because they cannot get the vaccine fast enough.
Most likely such passenger will have to resort to other travel options. In return, Qatar can loose even more business