Posted on November 17, 2019

Hundreds of Qatar Airways employees completed a walk of 4.8 km down Hamad International Airport’s (HIA) east runway, at an event organised by the airline to promote good mental health among its staff and their families.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, attended the walk, alongside HIA Chief Operating Officer Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, and Qatar Airways Group Medical Director, Dr. John Roberts. They were joined by Susan Clelland, Acting Executive Director, National Mental Health Program, at the Ministry of Public Health; Iain Tully, Chief Executive Officer for Mental Health at Hamad Medical Corporation; and Dr. Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla, Executive Director of Operations at Primary Health Care Corporation.

The walk was designed by Qatar Airways to highlight the habits that support good mental health, such as regular exercise and participation in social, community-based activities. It was the first event of its kind organised by the airline, and represented a unique opportunity for employees to explore HIA’s runway at first hand.

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H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Walking down HIA’s runway alongside hundreds of colleagues to promote this worthy cause was a wonderful experience for our staff. At Qatar Airways, we understand that mental health is as important as physical health to overall wellbeing. I hope that this walk has contributed to raising awareness of mental health among our employees and encouraged meaningful conversations between colleagues. I would like to thank everyone who attended today – it is only through our individual actions that we can create change.”

The walk started at 10.00 AM and concluded at 11:00 AM. Before the walk began, employees and their families enjoyed a range of activities at HIA’s boarding gates, including children’s games, food and beverage stalls, and a visit from Qatar Airways mascots Orry and Orah. After the walk, employees received a medal for their participation.

The event at HIA is just one of the many ways that Qatar Airways works to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. It is one of the few airlines in the world to provide in-house mental health support to employees through a dedicated team of trained psychologists led by Qatar Airways Group Medical Director, Dr. John Roberts. It is also the only organisation outside the health sector in Qatar that has an in-house team of mental health professionals.

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A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted “Skytrax Airline of the Year” title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The world’s fastest-growing airline has added several exciting new destinations to its growing network this year, including Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao, Philippines; Lisbon, Portugal; and Mogadishu, Somalia; and Langkawi, Malaysia. The airline will add Gaborone, Botswana in 2019 to its extensive route network along with Luanda, Angola; and Osaka, Japan, in 2020.