Several airlines have already suspended operations amid the travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Qatar Airways said it continues to operate flights to repatriate people who have been left stranded in different countries.
“We will fly as long as it is necessary and we have requests to get stranded people to their homes, provided the airspace is open and the airports are open,” said Akbar al-Baker, the Chief Executive of the Middle East carrier.
Qatar Airways is among the few airlines that continue to maintain its commercial services.
It currently flies to Asia, Australia and Europe and targets to operate around 2,000 more flights in the coming weeks.
“We have received many requests from governments all over the world, embassies in certain countries, requesting Qatar Airways not to stop flying,” Baker added.
However, the official said that it will have to ask for government support as it could soon run out of the cash needed to maintain its operations.
He said that the aid may come in the form of loans or equity and noted that as much as they try to conserve the resources at hand, this will only be enough to sustain services for a “very short period.”
Baker clarified that their airline had not benefited from the suspended operations of their rivals and added that it has even taken more expensive routes to avoid airspace that were affected by the bans in other countries just to ensure that they heed to governments’ requests for them to fly longer.
Qatar Airways has earlier announced that it will report a major loss this financial year.
Meanwhile, several nations already vowed to help the airline industry whose demand had fallen sharply due to the pandemic. United States said it will offer a package worth more than $60 billion for loans and payroll support for airlines and aviation employees.