Posted on August 29, 2017

Hamad International Airport (HIA), in cooperation with Qatar Airways and Qatar Aviation Services (QAS), gave a VIP tour of the award-winning airport last week to a group of children with special needs from the Qatar Institute for Speech and Hearing (QISH) Rehabilitation Center.

The special tour, which featured a behind-the-scenes look at the vast terminal and a visit on board one of Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus A380 aircraft, was organised to encourage the children’s wonder of flying and showcase the terminal’s services for those with special needs. The 10 children, aged from five to 10-years-old, were accompanied by their caregivers and enjoyed an exclusive puppet show and a specially-provided lunch. They were also given gifts by Qatar Duty Free as a reminder of their amazing day.

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Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Flying is a magical experience for most children and so we were delighted to be able to show these very special guests our biggest aircraft, and have them experience this amazing plane themselves. “All our customers are special to us, especially our younger passengers and those with special needs. We were pleased to be able to demonstrate the care we offer to customers who require special assistance, so they too can enjoy our award-winning five-star service.”

Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, said: “It is paramount to Hamad International Airport that every single passenger travelling through our airport, especially those with special needs, experiences our five-star services. Tours like these are important for our passengers with special needs, to help them become familiar with the exciting experience of air travel. We were happy to have this opportunity to showcase how travel can be a pleasant and inclusive experience for the entire community.”

Qatar Institute for Speech and Hearing Rehabilitation Center  Chairman of Board, Sheikh Jassim bin Thamer Al Thani, said: “On behalf of Qatar Institute for Speech and Hearing Rehabilitation Center, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways for their generous hospitality of our children. As significant members of the community, we appreciate the airport’s guarantee that every single child received five-star service.” During their visit on board the A380, the children were given specially-created Children’s Packs, full of fun activities, designed to help keep them entertained during their journey.

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HIA offers entirely barrier-free access, dedicated facilities and trained ground staff to make travelling more comfortable for passengers who require additional assistance. Special handling lounges are also available throughout the airport terminal for the comfort of passengers with special needs. The extended services provided by HIA to the children and all passengers with special needs ensures that every passenger experiences a seamless and comfortable journey. Qatar Airways also offers assistance for customers with special needs, including those with wheelchairs. As well as having aircraft equipped with reduced mobility facilities, such as seats with movable armrests, hand rails in lavatories, and special on-board wheelchairs, the airline’s specially-trained crew also offers safety briefings and assistance to those with visual or hearing impairments during the flight.