The first flight where everyone, including all the passengers and crew, was fully vaccinated took off on Tuesday with Qatar Airways from Qatar. This could be considered a historical step towards making air travel whole and safe again.
The flight, that took off on a Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 from Doha at 11 a.m. local time and came back to the city at 2 p.m., is only a glimpse of the possible future. All passengers and crew members were fully vaccinated along with the staff at check-in.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said that “The flight of a fully vaccinated Airbus demonstrates the next stage in the recovery of international travel is not that far away. An example of hope for the future of international aviation.”
Passengers on board were able to take control of the in-flight entertainment equipment with their phones, in what Qatar Airways calls a non-touch experience. They also received special amenity kits to mark the milestone flight.
Right before the take-off, passengers heard this message from the Capitan: “We know that this last year hasn’t always been easy with many people unable to see their loved ones, separated by distance. Now 107 days after the first vaccine shipment arrived at the state of Qatar and 392 days after the COVID-19 outbreak was acknowledged as a pandemic, we are proud to be the first airways to operate a fully-vaccinated flight.”
Along with the vaccinated flight, Qatar Airways is trailing the International Air Transport Association, a digital health pass aimed at making boarding with COVID-19-related administration a more all-in-one experience.
Al Baker also sees vaccine passports as needed and helpful. This will be a trend initially because the world needs to open again and at the same time people need to have confidence in air travel.