Temporary hold put on Qatar Airways stopover services

Qatar Airways has said it is placing a temporary hold on stopover services in Doha for the purpose of connection.

"Passengers with onward connections will not be permitted to leave Hamad International Airport (HIA)," the airline said in an updated travel alert on its website Monday.

"It is with regret that we must inform our valued customers that all current stopover bookings will, therefore, be cancelled. A full refund will be offered, with support offered to make alternative travel plans with Qatar Airways," it added.

Regarding Sunday's announcement that entry to Qatar had been temporarily suspended for people from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand, the airline said only those with onward connections through Hamad International Airport are being accepted for travel.

"This decision comes as a preventive measure due to the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) worldwide. It affects all individuals intending to enter from these countries, including visas upon arrival, those with a residence or work permit, and temporary visitors," the airline noted.

In relation to passengers travelling from Italy, only those with onward connections through HIA are being accepted for travel.

Qatari nationals and those in possession of a Qatar Residency Permit are exempted from this decision.

However, these passengers will be asked to stay in a quarantine facility for 14 days in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) measures.

All passengers arriving from Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore will be screened and those displaying disease symptoms will be taken for further testing.

Passengers returning positive test results will be admitted to treatment centres in accordance with the measures of the Ministry of Public Health.

Also, in line with a circular from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority concerning the preventing the spread of coronavirus, Qatar Airways said it is prohibited from carrying all passengers from Egypt via any intermediate point(s), including those who are in possession of a Qatar Residency Permit.

Qatari nationals are exempted from the above-mentioned decision but will be asked to stay in a quarantine facility for 14 days as per WHO measures.

Meanwhile, the airline stressed that it recognises that some passengers may wish to alter their existing travel plans in the light of Covid-19.

"We have altered our commercial policy accordingly in order to provide maximum flexibility and peace of mind to our customers," the travel alert said.

Passengers travelling with Qatar Airways up to June 30 can now change their travel plans free of charge by altering their booking dates or opting to receive a travel voucher up to three days prior to departure.

Fees for booking alterations will be waived if reservations are changed at least three days before departure, and fare differences may apply.

The travel voucher can be used for future travel with Qatar Airways, valid for one year from its issuance date.

Penalties will be waived if cancellations are submitted at least three days before departure.

This policy is valid for all Qatar Airways flights and those of its codeshare and interline partners booked as published fares, either directly from or through travel agents.

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes