On April 16th, the US Secretary of State addressed his counterpart in Qatar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani expressing his gratitude for Qatar’s efforts in assisting stranded American citizens to find a way to return home during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Good to speak with #Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister Abdulrahman al-Thani. I thanked him for Qatar’s support in helping us bring #AmericansHome during #COVID19. We also discussed regional issues, in particular confronting Iran’s destabilizing actions, including in Iraq.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 17, 2020
On April 24th, the US Department of State also addressed a letter to Qatar Airways, which was later tweeted by the Qatar Airways twitter account stating “On behalf of the United States government and the American people, I want to express our appreciation for Qatar Airways’ continued assistance in transporting US citizens home from Qatar and other destinations around the world.
However, Qatar and Qatar Airways’ efforts in reuniting families and loved ones during this unprecedented time is not solely reserved for citizens of the United States. As flight bans have been enacted around the world, Qatar Airways pledged to “clear the backlog” of stranded citizens hoping to find a method to get back home from Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Many thanks to the US Government and to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo for their kind words of appreciation to Qatar and Qatar Airways. We have made it our mission for everyone to ensure we are #TakingYouHome @SecPompeo pic.twitter.com/cYn6rvm3hP
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) April 24, 2020
The chief commercial officer of Qatar Airways told The Independent that the airline is increasing capacity as others close down their operations. He states that “having downsized our operation a little bit about a week ago, we’re now upscaling again: adding additional flights to some destinations, putting on bigger aircraft – for example, our A380s are back in the sky now…We’ve made this our core mission right now, to get people home…More than three-quarters of our bookings at the moment are people who are returning home – either returning home from trips or they’ve been located in another country and they’ve been advised to or just wish to go to their home country.”