Qatar Airways just announced that it is joining forces with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to transport lifesaving supplies for the displaced worldwide. The initiative is part of a series of steps the airline is taking to facilitate people hit hardest by the pandemic alongside those not having access to crucial medical supplies.

The official release reads:

The partnership, which is a first between both organisations, will involve a strategic collaboration whereby Qatar Airways will support with the delivery of crucial aid supplies to those most in need during these unprecedented times.

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© UNHCR, Qatar Airways

The two-year partnership will see Qatar using its fleet to deliver supplies “including water, medical care and hygiene materials” to refugees, internally displaced people and host community members.

The strategic alliance will give UNHCR complete access to the Doha-based carrier’s 28 cargo and over 200 commercial airliners to perform humanitarian relief missions. For now, the airline is offering to carry up to 400 000kgs of essential supplies on its aircraft, spread across UNHCR’s global operations.

A Win-Win Situation

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Qatar Airways has remained at the forefront of relief and rescue operations ever since the crisis began and outdone other regional carriers like Emirates by a mile. It has been busy repatriating the stranded and transporting medical goods worldwide from its hub in Hammad International airport — which emerged as a key connection for long-haul flights between the east and west, after Dubai. So it’s no surprise that the partnership will garner even more goodwill for the Qatari airline; in addition to opening new avenues for the UNCHR to expand its operations.

Given the current state of the world when extra relief efforts are needed, partnerships like these will promote the reach of welfare organizations to international locations and frontline workers in active service. Khaled Khalifa, a Senior Advisor at UNHCR added:

Our primary focus at UNHCR is to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of the most marginalised and vulnerable members of society…With limited access to water, sanitation systems and health facilities, refugees are particularly at risk right now and that is why we are developing key responses to mitigate these challenges, alongside our respected partners Qatar Airways.

Hopefully, Qatar Airways’ international routes in Africa, Asia, Europe, The Americas, and Oceania and valuable hub-and-spoke network will enable swift aid operations for the UNHCR.

It is unclear how Qatar will transport aid supplies on its commercial fleet as it prepares to resume flights to 80 locations in June. It will, however, make full use of its largely Boeing 777 cargo fleet for transporting UNHCR supplies to affected areas.

What do you think of this strategic partnership? Let us know in the comments!


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