Qatar Airways is still flying to the UK from much of the world if you need to get someone home

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Whilst virtually all airlines are grounding their flights – including the other two big Middle Eastern airlines, Emirates and Etihad – Qatar Airways is ploughing on.

Qatar Airways is still operating flights on 70+ routes.  It is, at the moment, leading global efforts to get people home.  It is even adding back services that had been cancelled, such as flights from Edinburgh.  Paris and Dublin are seeing extra services added, whilst some London Heathrow flights have been upgraded to an A380.

EDIT:  I have added in Brisbane, which was announced this afternoon.  This is the first time that Qatar Airways has flown from Brisbane.

During the past week, flights TO the UK, France and Germany have been 80% full.  Loads are obviously lighter in the opposite direction, with aircraft leaving the UK, France and Germany just 36% full.

If you’re lucky, you may even be able to get someone home on an Avios redemption.

The full list of airports where Qatar Airways is still flying is here.

Qatar Airways still operating flights to 70 airports

As of Thursday lunchtime, Qatar Airways was still running flights to and from:

  • London Heathrow
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • Ediburgh

……. to the following destinations, via a change of aircraft in Doha:

Africa

  • Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
  • Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB)
  • Seychelles International Airport (SEZ)
  • Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ)

Americas

  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Asia and Pacific

  • Angeles City Clark International Airport (CRK)
  • Auckland  International Airport (AKL)
  • Brisbane Airport (BNE)
  • Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
  • Canberra Airport (CBR)
  • Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
  • Denpasar International Airport (DPS)
  • Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)
  • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
  • Islamabad International Airport (ISB)
  • Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK)
  • Krabi International Airport (KBV)
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
  • Male International Airport (MLE)
  • Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
  • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL)
  • Perth Airport (PER)
  • Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH)
  • Phuket International Airport (HKT)
  • Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)
  • Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
  • Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD)
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)
  • Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
  • Yangon International Airport (RGN)

There are another 26 European airports outside the UK which are also still accepting Qatar Airways flights.

For clarity, just because Qatar Airways is still flying to a destination does not mean that you will be allowed entry.  The majority of countries have now blocked entry to non-residents and non-citizens, or are insisting on a quarantine period on arrival.  You cannot even enter Doha, so you must remain in the airport during your stopover.

If you do try to book a flight for someone, do not book a one-way.  It is likely to be hugely expensive as one-way international flights often are.  Check the cost of booking a return flight, even if you do not intend to fly the second leg.

You can see the current list of operating destinations on this page of the Qatar Airways website.

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Comments

  1. DiploDoug says:

    On the last point, could the airline potentially come knocking for the one way ticket cost if you don’t turn up for the return?

  2. Aston100 says:

    Qatar will get all of my business once this crisis is over.
    I’m sure they are well aware of the positive publicity this is generating and that is probably the main reason they are continuing to fly to so many places right now, rather than any sort of humanitarian concern.

    Now if only I can get an answer from somewhere to confirm whether the voucher can be used in say 10 months time to book a flight 10 months after that (2022) or if the voucher must be used for a flight that is taken/completed within 12 months of the voucher issue date.

    • Callum says:

      Then why are they getting all your business? As you say, it’s not for humanitarian reasons, so why avoid airlines that aren’t in the same position as Qatar is?

      • Aston100 says:

        Because they seem to be providing cash refunds again and /or offering vouchers with extra added.
        Just look at some of the other airlines and their shameful attempts to avoid refund for cancellations

    • John B says:

      Let’s be clear – Qatar are no angels here. They cancelled our return flight from Japan without any notification whatsoever, my discovering this by accident. Flights clearly no longer flying (judging by their reservations page showing) were listed as “on time” on their flight status page – which was clearly inaccurate. Cue a whole night of calls to customer services with unreliable and conflicting information – informing me my flight was “confirmed and listed as on time” for the 31st but with “no operational flights after the 20th”. Laughably, I was told no decisions were made on flights until a few days beforehand and I was to call back “every few days” to see if it was cancelled or not (!!). Finally….the last call confirmed our flight was cancelled with only 5 seats left on the last flight out of country on the 20th. And with all flights “cancelled from Narita also”.
      Well…there were only c.25 people on the whole plane – far from “5 seats left”. Narita flights were, and still are, flying. And then, a few days later, after our return…our original flight and all others from Haneda were reinstated. The upshot? Qatar benefitted greatly from people having to rebook with fare adjustments (ignore the no-penalty offer, fare adjustments were still being made), only to then reinstate and resell our original seats to those desperate to get home at almost any price. The “we’ll get you home” tagline hides what one could consider to simply be cynical profiteering.
      Yes – we had to get home and had no choice. Yes – some leeway can be given for customer service reps being given conflicting and confusing information in a rapidly changing environment. But not informing passengers via email or any other method that their flight is cancelled? Absolutely no excuse in a supposed 5* airline.

      If one can’t rely on being told something as fundamental as one’s flight being cancelled, which couldn’t be simpler in 2020, flying with such an airline is a gamble I’ll never take again. When everything works fine, yes, Qatar is great. But when not, it’s a shambles and a disgrace and the impression of profiteering is something that’s hard to forget.
      Never again – I’ll choose someone else next time.

      PS. Their own website listing operational destinations, as well as that here, lists own Narita as operational – yet one can still buy tickets to/from Haneda…go figure, who knows what the truth is..

  3. Harry T says:

    I’m trying to get my brother and his gf out of Australia with Qatar, and I’m immensely grateful they are still flying.

    I will say that it was not cheaper to book a return when I was booking these flights, so mileage may vary. I did use a fare hold while we were planning my brother’s flights to Perth, and I’m glad I did – the flights went up from £2400 for two people in economy to £11,500 within a matter of hours.

    Qatar aren’t letting you cancel fully flexible fares online FYI – you have to fill in a form to get a voucher, or try to ring them. This is not helpful, as this isn’t disclosed before you buy tickets and they only seem to be selling flexible tickets. Defeats the point of selling flexible tickets if achieving any flexibility is logistically almost impossible.

    • Harry T says:

      Also worth mentioning to anyone trying to get out of Oz that Qatar is flying from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. It’s currently frowned upon to enter Perth as their borders are closed (my brother is still doing it as it was the best option) but Victoria hasn’t closed their borders to interstate travel (unsure about NSW).

      Virgin Australia just cancelled 90% of their domestic flights and I had to book a jetstar flight for my brother after they cancelled his VA flights – still haven’t actually been notified properly that the flights are cancelled.

      Happy to help anyone trying to get out of Australia – been looking at it a lot over the last 48 hours.

      • We landed yesterday from Melbourne to LHR on Qatar. It was the only flight we could get out in any class and cost us £5K each. We were in Brisbane but had to fly to Melbourne with Virgin Aus who cancelled our first flight and we only just made the connection. It was the only flight out of Melbourne airport and like a ghost town. We had Q Suite all the way which was fabulous – everyone was in masks and clutching hand sanitiser but a few heavily coughing passengers which was worrying. We’re now in isolation at home. Next task to claim on the insurance who had told us they would pay up to £5k to get us home per person.

        • Harry T says:

          Really pleased you got out, and in style! Quite a good price for business class in the circumstances, based on the prices I saw online. I booked my brother in economy because business was extortionate and it’s his own fault he didn’t leave earlier ;).

          Virgin Australia cancelled my brother’s flights to Perth the day after I booked them, and still haven’t informed us. Luckily jetstar has a direct flight to Cairns for the same day, so I got him on that.

        • Harry T says:

          I hope your insurance pays out and you don’t get an infection from the passengers on the plane. I’m self isolating myself at present due to COVID symptoms.

          • @Harry T We hope so too!! On both counts. Must admit to being scared as we’re both in the high risk category. Hope that you are feeling better real soon and nothing worse develops.

        • Glad to hear you got home safely Dawn.

  4. Mikeact says:

    Just wondering why people are/were so late in leaving to get back home, when it all started happening at least a couple of weeks back. We decided to get back home ASAP as soon as it was obvious that problems were looming. Cutting short a holiday was more important to us than lying around on the beach !

    • The Original David says:

      Not everyone is so risk-averse – the perpetual threat of getting trapped makes me feel ALIVE!!

      • Shoestring says:

        FCO advice is only advice, nothing more and no legal status (apart from insurance, I guess)

        A Brit must be free to do whatever that Brit wants, we are not serfs nor slaves to officialdom

        tbh Strongly requesting Brits abroad take the next flight home was really only a measure to save on repatriation costs

        • Shoestring says:

          I still can’t see why the other Harry T wanted his bro + g/f to come back from Aus at huge expense when all they needed was a sub for the next few months to keep them going?

          • Harry T says:

            Wasn’t too expensive in the end. He couldn’t get any work out there, and didn’t see the point of staying there when his aim in visiting was to travel and see all the sights as a backpacker. Not much fun being a young backpacker when you can’t leave your accommodation in Cairns, and all the attractions and tourist sites are closed for the next few months due to a ban on non essential travel.

            I think he will go back when this all blows over and they can do some proper travelling.

        • Bilbo Baggins says:

          “A Brit must be free to do whatever that Brit wants, we are not serfs nor slaves to officialdom”

          Said all the people lying around in London’s parks while the nurses get infected at work.

    • We started trying to change our flights two weeks ago – we had 4 different changes cancelled – as fast as we booked one the next day something changed and was cancelled. Our final fight from Brisbane to Melbourne on Virgin Australia to get our MEL – LHR flight was cancelled but no-one informed us and we were at the airport for the 1430 but thankfully got the 1730 and just made the Qatar flight. We spent a whole day on the phone in order to secure the Qatar flight through Flight Centre emergency line and had to pay up front in order to not lose the ticket instead of wait fo the UK call centre to open. Trying to get through to airlines is saying 5 – 10 hour wait times and impossible. We even went to the Gold Coast airport to try and find someone to talk to ref our original Qantas flight but no-one was manning any desks.

      • Harry T says:

        It’s a testament to your persistence that you were able to get through to anyone at a time like this. VA cancelled 90% of their domestic flights so I’m glad you managed to find one to Melbourne.

  5. Riccatti says:

    The loads are not looking terrible and flights can operate with reduced crew. There are people wanting to travel — especially with all other global carriers shut down.

    However, if the cost is >5k person then finding suitable accommodation in Australia/NZ (or any country with reciprocal healthcare for visitors from the UK) is looking as a reasonable alternative — even for two months.

    Taking into account, flight timetable might be unreliable, and weighting in the risk of contamination on board and in airports.

    • Harry T says:

      Managed to grab two Qatar tickets for my brother and his gf for under 2.5k for both of them, which I thought was reasonable. Prices went up to 11k later that day.

      If it was 5k per person, I think you’re right, individual circumstances permitting.

    • For us stuck in Australia (we flew home yesterday at a cost of £5k each) it was the insurance company telling us that as it fell under ’emergency cover’ we could claim up to £5k per person. But if we stayed when we could have taken flights then the amount of claim would fall to £1k per person. We do home exchanges so were sitting nicely in an apartment on the Gold Coast, very safe, for as long as we wanted as the owner lives in NZ. When we rang the insurance company the second time they said we should take the £5k flights and get home. They don’t seem to take into account your safety or your situation at all. Not knowing how long until we could get our next flight and what cost it would be to return we have risked travelling and are now praying we don’t get any symptoms.

  6. Qatar’s balance sheet must be ringing right now, not like they need the money anyway 😉

  7. At6077 says:

    As a Travel agent, Qatar has been a god send to get people home. For the most part their one ways have been very reasonable for the most part

  8. Qatar is still being blockaded by UAE and Saudi etc isn’t it? Which is costing them a lot of money too? May be part of the reason they want to engender goodwill elsewhere as well as getting extra cash

  9. Actually they can’t fly to some of the locations on your list like Colombo which is closed

  10. jamie rennie says:

    Has anybody received a refund voucher from Qatar yet. I got an e-mail acknowledging they had received my refund request forms on the 12th March but i have heard nothing since. Similarly BA sent me an e-mail nine days ago saying they would be sending refund vouchers within the next seven days. I know it’s only two days late but i was wondering if anybody had received refund vouchers from BA as yet and how long they took to arrive.
    .

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