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Qatar Airways Experiences a Slight Drop in Flights to the US

According to Qatar’s Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, the number of Muslim passengers to the United States on Monday has slightly reduced. Their major concern was that their visas may be rejected on reaching their destinations. The CEO stressed that this issue has little effect on the business with hopes that the passengers’ fears will be allayed once the government of the United States releases an official statement regarding the matter. He further mentioned that there are no plans of reducing frequencies to the United States now or in the nearest future. Emirates, on the other hand has reduced flights to the United States by 20% last week, stating “weakened travel demand” as the reason.

Qatar Airways is one of the largest Middle East’s carriers and it currently operates in over 150 destinations. During a press conference at the yearly Arabian Travel Market Convention, Al Baker told reporters that plans are already in place for expanding to 26 new global destinations and 12 of these routes have been announced already. No official dates have been announced for the new routes that include Dublin, Canberra, Rio de Janeiro, Medan, Australia, Yanbu, Las Vegas, Santiago, Tabuk and Medan. The launch of flights to Las Vegas have been postponed to the second quarter of next year. Other destinations are Prague, Cardiff, Abidjan, Malaga, Accra, Mombasa, Kiev and Mykonos.

Just last month, Qatar Airways and some other Gulf carriers that include Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways were among the airlines affected by a ban on all electronic devices that are larger than a smartphone. This affected the carriers heading to the United States. According to reports, security concern was stated as the reason for the ban. Passengers on the affected flights will now have to check in their laptops and tablets. In response to the ban, Qatar Airways offered to loan laptops to premium passengers. The United Kingdom also made the same move in some African and Middle Eastern countries, but Qatar Airways was not affected.    

Concerning the imposed ban, he commented, “In every downturn, there is an opportunity, which is why we are launching San Francisco and we will also launch Las Vegas in the first half of next year. The US is not the entire world, there are other geographies that we will be expanding into as well.”  

In a recent development, the airline company is set to hold a recruitment event in Dubai. This move will help the company hire more flight staffs across the globe. Screening of candidates is slated to take place on April 18. The Gulf carrier also have plans to hire applicants from different countries that include South Africa, Thailand, Greece and Kuwait. The benefits that awaits qualified candidates include tax free compensation package and an opportunity to travel the world.

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