Why is Qatar Airways Taking People Home?

Qatar Airways has won international plaudits for soldiering on during the coronavirus crisis, launching a campaign to Take People Home. But with a World Cup looming marred in allegations of corruption, links to terrorism and a dubious human rights record, does its state owner have an ulterior motive? 

The airline averages 36 direct flights to Doha from Adelaide per week during the crisis. Mitch Coad captured this Airbus A350-941 A7-AMH above Adelaide.

Tucked away on Qatar Airways’ YouTube channel is a seemingly innocuous 30-second corporate advert that has, so far, amassed an eye-popping 330,000 views. The footage begins with a camera soaring through sunset-lit clouds as a piano track accompanies the voice of a British woman. “We understand that life is challenging right now,” she says delicately, in perfect Queen’s English. “We are here for you. Where others are stepping away, we remain by your side to get you to where you need to go.” The scene soon pans to a young girl at an airport charging down the pavement to be reunited with her father – leaping into his arms as he clutches a large teddy bear. “Qatar Airways,” says the narrator, “We will get you home”. Underneath, are dozens of comments from posters around the world expressing their personal gratitude littered with thumbs up and bulging heart-shaped eyes emojis. It’s perhaps not so surprising given the carrier has now, incredibly, flown more than one million people “home” since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

‘We are thankful to the Australian government, airports and staff for their support in helping us to add additional flights to get people home’ 

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