Hundreds of Qatar Airways employees completed a walk of 4.8km down Hamad International Airport’s (HIA) east runway on Saturday, at an event organised by the airline to promote good mental health among its staff and their families.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker attended the walk alongside HIA chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer and Qatar Airways Group medical director Dr John Roberts.
They were joined by Susan Clelland, acting executive director of the National Mental Health Programme at the Ministry of Public Health; Iain Tully, chief executive officer for Mental Health at Hamad Medical Corporation; and Dr Samya Ahmad al-Abdulla, executive director of Operations at the Primary Health Care Corporation.
The walk was designed by Qatar Airways to highlight the habits that support good mental health, such as regular exercise and participation in social, community-based activities.
It was the first event of its kind organised by the airline, and represented a unique opportunity for employees to explore HIA’s runway first hand, according to a press statement.
“Walking down HIA’s runway alongside hundreds of colleagues to promote this worthy cause was a wonderful experience for our staff. At Qatar Airways, we understand that mental health is as important as physical health to overall well-being. I hope this walk has contributed to raising awareness of mental health among our employees and encouraged meaningful conversations between colleagues. I would like to thank everyone who attended today – it is only through our individual actions that we can create change,” al-Baker said.
The walk started at 10am and concluded at 11am.
Before the walk began, employees and their families enjoyed a range of activities at HIA’s boarding gates, including children’s games, food and beverage stalls, and a visit from Qatar Airways mascots Orry and Orah.
After the walk, employees received a medal for their participation.
“The event at HIA is just one of the many ways that Qatar Airways works to promote positive mental health and well-being,” the statement notes.
It is one of the few airlines in the world to provide in-house mental health support to employees through a dedicated team of trained psychologists led by Dr Roberts. It is also the only organisation outside the health sector in Qatar that has an in-house team of mental health professionals.
A multiple-award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ at the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax.
It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its “ground-breaking” Business Class experience, Qsuite.
It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.