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Safety and Comfort on Board with Qatar Airways

Luciana Siwu
Luciana Siwu, Country Manager for Indonesia at Qatar Airways

Luciana Siwu is Country Manager for Indonesia at Qatar Airways, having been involved with the airlines for over two decades now.

Flying doesn’t have to be a worrisome experience. Indonesia Expat had the lovely chance to learn more about one of the world’s best-accredited airlines ensuring safety and comfort on board for all passengers and crew.

Hi Luciana. What are you busy with at the moment?

Hi Indonesia Expat. There’s quite a lot on my plate that’s keeping me busy these days, especially since Qatar Airways is an airline that never stopped flying and continues to expand its network during this difficult time. I’m here to ensure that our passengers are travelling conveniently and our operations run smoothly.

Can you briefly tell us about your career up to the point you became Qatar Airways’ Country Manager?

I’ve been with the company for more than 20 years. It’s been a tremendous experience for me since I started my career journey in Qatar Airways, from sales up to where I am now. Challenges have been different in every position I’ve had, but I look forward to face and overcome whatever is ahead of me as Country Manager.

Luciana Siwu, Country Manager for Indonesia at Qatar Airways.
It’s a new year. How is the airline holding up?

The COVID-19 pandemic impact isn’t unique to Qatar Airways; it’s caused an unprecedented impact to the aviation industry as a whole in 2020. All airlines globally have been badly affected; some, unfortunately, have had to cease operations after succumbing to financial pressures.

While most airlines have suspended their operations, Qatar Airways is one of the very few airlines that has remained in operation during this period. We remained committed to our mission of taking people home safely and reliably during the pandemic.

We’ve taken home over 3.1 million passengers since the onset of the pandemic and our network has never fallen below 30 international destinations, even at the peak of the pandemic. Qatar Airways also launched new destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, in Southeast Asia, we started operating to Cebu in the Philippines and for Asia Pacific, Brisbane is a new destination we launched to meet repatriation demands.

Today, we continue flying to over 120 destinations around the globe and we’re also happy to report that the blockade has ended. This enables us to resume many of our Middle East routes so it’s looking positive for Qatar Airways.

Describe Qatar Airways in one sentence.

Qatar Airways is an awarding-winning, five-star airline that remains committed to its mission and has accumulated unrivalled experience to safely and reliably carry passengers during these challenging times.

Indonesia has had a strict ban on non-resident foreigners entering the country since the pandemic hit. How has this prohibition affected airlines?

Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Qatar Airways has never stopped flying and the Jakarta-Doha route has always remained in operation throughout the pandemic until today. As such, we’ve remained committed to our mission of flying people home safely. Qatar Airways works closely with the Indonesian health authorities to comply with all necessary hygiene measures to safeguard the safety of all our passengers and crew.

What flight routes are currently available?

Qatar Airways is currently operating 14 weekly flights to Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The flight schedule is:

Jakarta (CGK) to Doha (DOH)

  • QR955 departs: 12:45am arrives: 5:25am
  • QR957 departs: 6:55pm arrives: 11:10pm

Doha (DOH) to Jakarta (CGK)

  • QR954 departs: 1:30am, arrives: 2:15pm
  • QR956 departs: 6:45pm arrives: 7:25am+1 day
Will Qatar Airways open routes to other Indonesian cities anytime soon?

The safety, security, and good health of our passengers as well as our employees is our highest priority. Qatar Airways is working very closely with global and national authorities to gradually reinstate destinations and additional frequencies in line with the expected relaxation of entry restrictions around the world. We certainly hope to resume more Indonesian routes soon to enhance global connectivity for our Indonesian passengers.

The public is constantly wary of travel, including on planes. What measures does Qatar Airways follow to ensure the safety and comfort to passengers and the cabin crew?

At Qatar Airways, we remain committed in ensuring the safety of our passengers and crew. We apply the highest standards of cleanliness on board, with our aircraft thoroughly disinfected and equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97 percent of viral and bacterial contaminates in re-circulated air. Additionally, Qatar Airways is also the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System.

To ensure the safety of our passengers and staff on board, we’ve introduced protective wear for cabin crew, offering passengers ultimate flexibility and comfort. Our cabin crew are fully protected with personal protective equipment (PPE) coverings that are fitted over their uniforms, along with safety glasses, gloves, and a mask.

Passengers are also required to wear face coverings inflight, and we’re now providing them with PPE kits that include a face mask, disposable gloves, and hand sanitiser. They are also provided with a face shield visor (available in adult and children sizes) when they check-in at Hamad International Airport and boarding gates at our international destinations. Business-class passengers are also offered an additional 75ml sanitiser gel tube.

We encourage social distancing on board, especially on flights with lighter loads. Social distancing measures are also in place during check-in and boarding. While it is not practical to keep the middle seat vacant for economic and logistical reasons, strong awareness campaigns and good hygiene measures can help reassure passengers in the air and on the ground during their travels.

Meal services have also been adapted and altered to adhere to the strictest hygiene standards to safeguard the health of our passengers. Essentially, there’s no change to the quality of food, except all food items are now packaged according to hygiene standard to ensure maximum safety for our passengers.

For instance, all bread rolls and individual food items on meal trays are now individually wrapped for best hygiene practice. Business-class meals are also served on a tray instead of a table set up, and a cutlery wrap will be offered to passengers as an alternative to individual cutlery service, in an effort to reduce contact between the crew and the passengers. We’ve also introduced single-use menu cards and sealed refreshing wipes. Quisine meals are still available and in economy class, all meals and cutlery are served sealed as usual, and menu cards have been temporarily discontinued to minimise touchpoints.

Through these measures, Qatar Airways recently became the first global airline to achieve the prestigious Five-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows Hamad International Airport’s (HIA) recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax Five-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. It’s worth knowing that 99.998 percent of our passengers travel COVID19-free, making us a very safe and reliable airline.

What are your thoughts on the aviation industry’s future?

Many aviation analysts have predicted that travel demand will only return to the pre-COVID-19 level at the earliest by 2023, but we certainly hope that it’ll be sooner. It might be too early to predict, but with the vaccine being rolled out, things are looking more positive.

Qatar Airways’ network rebuilding is looking robust and we’re currently operating more than 800 weekly flights to over 120 destinations across the globe. By the end of March 2021, Qatar Airways plans to rebuild its network to over 130 destinations with many cities to be served with a strong schedule of daily or more frequencies.

In the recent past, the airline has received awards. Can you share some of them?

Qatar Airways has received several awards in 2020 and earlier this year. In December 2020, Qatar Airways received the 2021 Airline Passenger Experience Association’s (APEX) Five-Star Global Official Airline Rating TM. The APEX Award Ceremony was held during the FTE APEX Virtual Expo on 9th December.

In January 2021, Qatar Airways achieved the Diamond Standard in the APEX Health Safety Powered by a SimpliFlying audit. The “Diamond Standard” status, which is the highest level attainable, was announced by APEX and global aviation marketing consultancy SimpliFlying, following a meticulous assessment of the airline’s robust COVID-19 hygiene and safety standards.

Most recently, Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious Five-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. The announcement follows a detailed audit, carried out by the Skytrax team in December 2020, which assessed how effectively and consistently the airline’s stringent COVID-19 hygiene and safety standards and procedures were being adhered to, from flight check-in to onboard the aircraft. The achievement of the Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating is in addition to Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), recently being named as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax Five-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating in December 2020.

World Cup Qatar 2022 is approaching. What is Qatar Airways’ role in it? Are there any special promotions that prospective passengers should keep an eye out for?

Qatar Airways is the Official Partner and the Official Airline of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 TM. Back in November 2020, we unveiled a specially-branded Boeing 777 aircraft painted in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 TM livery, to mark two years to go until the tournament kicks off on 21st November 2022.

The bespoke aircraft features distinctive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM branding and was hand-painted to commemorate the airline’s partnership with FIFA. More aircraft in the Qatar Airways fleet will feature the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM livery and will visit several destinations in the network.

Qatar Airways will be offering football fans a range of travel packages including flights and exclusive activities that deliver once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Passengers can sign up here to be the first to receive updates regarding travel packages and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 TM.

Thank you for your time, Luciana. Stay safe and healthy!

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