(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
Qatar Airways has carried over 380,000 seafarers and offshore workers since April last year, said the award-winning airline on the occasion of the ‘Day of the Seafarer’. Observed on June 25 of each year, the ‘Day of the Seafarer’, recognises the invaluable contribution of around 1.6 million seafarers make to international trade and the world economy.
''The international shipping industry is the lifeblood of the world economy, and we’re truly proud to keep the world moving by supporting seafarers during their journey,” said Qatar Airways on its official twitter account, yesterday.
''During the pandemic to keep the maritime industry moving, we’ve safely carried more than 380,000 seafarers and offshore workers since April 2020.”
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted the maritime sector and the lives of seafarers and their families. World trade is continuing but seafarers are struggling. Hundreds of thousands of seafarers are still unable to join and leave their vessels due to restrictions put in place to contain COVID-19.
By safely carrying thousands of seafarers and offshore workers, Qatar Airways has played a crucial role in smooth functioning of global maritime industry. The airline operated many charter flights to carry mariners.
''We’ve operated more than 100 charter flights to carry around 28,000 mariners,” said Qatar Airways.
To ensure a comfortable and memorable journey for seafarers and offshore workers travelling with the airline, Qatar Airways has a dedicated Mariner Lounge at Hamad International Airport. The lounge is centrally located on the second level of the Duty Free Plaza at Hamad International Airport and only a short distance from the gates and other facilities.
''Our Mariner Lounge has also reached a major milestone on Day of the Seafarer, welcoming our 50,000th guest since its opening in Late 2020,” said Qatar Airways.
Seafarers and offshore workers who travel on Qatar Airways flights and show valid documentation can experience exclusive complimentary Mariner Lounge access while transiting at Hamad International Airport.
According to António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, the number of seafarers needing to be relieved from ships- effectively stranded onboard reached 400,000 during 2020. Thanks to the efforts of all concerned parties, the number is currently estimated to be about 200,000.
''The world depends on shipping, and shipping depends on seafarers. But the life and work of seafarers have been affected dramatically by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the crisis, seafarers have faced enormous challenges concerning repatriation, travel to join their ships, proper access to vaccinations and medical care, and shore leave,” said António Guterres in his message on the ‘Day of the Seafarer’, posted on the United Nation’s website.
''Yet seafarers on board ships have continued working, providing an essential service for people everywhere. The members of this multinational workforce of 1.6 million people must be recognized as key workers who deliver an essential service, and be given access to transit and travel. Seafarers must also have equitable access to vaccines, as nobody is safe until everyone is safe,” he said.
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