Qatar Airways has announced it will resume flights from New Zealand on 14 August for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The airline, which has made a name for itself for continuing to fly during the crisis, will operate three flights per week from Auckland via Brisbane.
The new route also means passengers have the potential to transit at Doha and fly onwards to 35 different destinations – however, Kiwis are still advised by the government not to leave the country.
Airbus A350-1000s will fly the route and will provide 60 tonnes of cargo capacity each way, each week for exporters.
The airline has said it won’t operate commercial inbound services to New Zealand due to restrictions but has already repatriated 13,000 Kiwis since the crisis began.
In July, Qatar Airways said it would ask all passengers in economy to wear face shields – but the measure would not be mandatory for those in business class.
The announcement came as part of a wider move to increase safety measures that will see passengers provided with a single-use surgical face mask, disposable gloves and alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
The airline is now the biggest international carrier in Australia after its share of passengers travelling to and from the country leapt from just 3 per cent to 44.5 per cent in April.
Those travelling from the airline’s home base of Hamad will be handed the shields at check-in, while those in countries such as Australia will be given the protection at the boarding gates.
The business now estimates it has repatriated almost 2 million people since the start of the pandemic. Globally, the business relaunched 11 destinations on 1 July and hopes to expand to more than 65 destinations worldwide by mid-July.