Qatar Airways executive assures no more intrusive gynecological exams on passengers

Qatar Airways executive assures no more intrusive gynecological exams on passengers

Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Matt Raos speaks at Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday, 27 September 2023. Raos has informed a Senate inquiry that there will not be a repeat of an incident at Doha’s International Airport in 2020, where female passengers were subjected to painful gynecological exams. (Lukas Coch/AAP Image via AP)

Qatar Airways executive
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Matt Raos

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A top Qatar Airways executive told an Australian Senate inquiry on Wednesday that there would not repeat the incident that occurred at the international airport in Doha in 2020 when women passengers had to be subjected to an invasive gynecological exam.

Australian Transportation Minister Catherine King said three weeks ago that the medical examinations conducted on thirteen Australian women who had traveled on the Qatar Airways plane to Sydney had a bearing on her decision to deny Qatar Airways, a government-owned airline, any additional routes to Australia.

Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Matt Raos described the incident that occurred while authorities were searching at the mom of a newborn child discovered abandoned in the Hamad International Airport trash can as “a single incident, very severe incident.”

“We’ve never experienced anything like this before in our history, and we’re determined to make sure that nothing like this happens ever again,” Raos told the committee.

Five Australian women whose names are kept secret through a gag order issued by the court. The women claim that they were removed off the plane heading towards Sydney at Doha under gunpoint by security guards and searched without their consent.

Qatar Airways did not respond to their complaints and also offered no apology, according to the women.

They sent a letter to Catherine King through their lawyer in June requesting Qatar Airways not be allowed to double its Australian services over the current 28 flights per week.

“It is our firm belief in the fact that Qatar Airways is not fit to transport passengers across the globe, let not mention important Australian airfields.” the company wrote.

“When you’re contemplating Qatar Airways’ bid for additional right of landing, we ask you to take into consideration its uncaring and reckless treatment of us as well as its failure to protect the dignity and safety that its guests enjoy,” they said.

Raos stated that Qatar is “surprised and stunned” in the sense that Australia has rejected without explanation their application for further services for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, which was announced in August. 22nd, 2022.

Qatar Airways The Senior Vice-President of Qatar, Fathi Atti, told the inquiry that the airline had learned of the decision via media on the 10th of July but did not get an official announcement from the Australian government until 10 days after the announcement.

At the beginning of this month, King stated that her decision was based on a “context” of women’s complaints regarding their treatment.

“There is no single thing that I can be able to point to that would have influenced my choice one way or the other way,” King told reporters.

It is looking into whether Australian flag airline Qantas Airways influenced the government’s decision to cut down on the competition and keep airfares at a high level.

Vanessa Hudson, who became Qantas chief executive earlier this month, was a committee member who said the airline had submitted a statement to the government in October, stating that the global aviation market had to recuperate from the pandemic before Qatar Airways was given more Australian services.

Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder told senators he was not in contact with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, his office Ministers or government officials regarding Qatar Airways’ bid for more flights.


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