Qatar Airways says it has added 10,000 seats to its network as of March 24, as international routes across the world are suspended by many airlines. 

It has added flights to Paris, Perth and Dublin from Doha, and will operate the Airbus A380 on services to Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Perth to increase capacity.

The flag carrier is currently flying to 75 destinations, though notes this may reduce as nations introduce tighter flight restrictions. 

EmiratesEtihad, Oman Air and Qantas are among the airlines to announce they are suspending all international routes, while others, such as Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines, have suspended flights to the UK.

This has led to thousands of British travellers saying they are stranded in Asia-Pacific countries, South America, India, Pakistan and elsewhere.

The UK Foreign Office said yesterday it was working to arrange rescue flights for Britons stuck overseas, and had arranged a deal with Singapore to allow Changi Airport to be used as a refuelling stop for aircraft bringing people home.

Both Singapore and Hong Kong had announced a ban on transiting passengers as they seek to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

However, many travellers are still writing to Business Traveller to say that they or their families are struggling to find flights to get them home.

“Figures for the last seven days show load factors of over 80 percent for flights to the UK, France and Germany, with a fall to 36 percent for outbound services from those countries, illustrating the demand for homeward travel,” a Qatar Airways spokesperson said. 

“Qatar Airways has flown more than 100,000 passengers home in the last seven days while 72 per cent of passengers carried on 24 March were nationals flying to their country of origin.

“Working with embassies around the world, the airline has operated one-off services from destinations such as Phnom Penh, Denpasar, Manila and Kuala Lumpur to Europe.

“More than 5,000 passengers were flown home by these services over the last week, a number that is expected to more than triple over the next week.

“Qatar Airways is currently operating flights to 75 destinations, though this number may reduce as nations introduce tighter restrictions.”

The airline has published the full list of airports it is operating to here.

United and Air Canada are among the carriers to have announced additional rescue flights to get travellers home as international borders close off.

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