Flight QR6421 may only have been in the air for a short time, but that hasn’t stopped it from creating a little bit of aviation history.
Qatar Airways claims it is the “world’s first fully Covid-19 vaccinated flight”.
Everyone from the check-in staff, to the crew, pilots and passengers had been vaccinated against coronavirus.
The “flight to nowhere”, with 188 passengers, two pilots and 18 cabin crew, took off from Doha’s Hamad International Airport at 11am on Tuesday and flew down across the United Arab Emirates and Oman before turning back and returning at 2pm.
The flight on an Airbus A350-1000 was to promote the airline’s safety and hygiene measures, including new innovations such as the world’s first “zero-touch” entertainment technology, which allows users to select movies and music after pairing their mobile phones with the inflight system through a QR code.
Masks were still required for all passengers and crew, except when eating and drinking. There were also empty seats between flyers to allow for social distancing.
Forbes reports that the airline also supported the “flight to nowhere” through its carbon offset programme.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, says the flight showed that “the recovery of international travel is not far away”.
“We are proud to continue leading the industry by operating the first flight with a fully vaccinated crew and passengers and providing a beacon of hope for the future of international aviation.”