A senior Qatar Airways executive assured that a harrowing incident at Doha’s international airport in 2020, where female passengers endured invasive gynecological examinations, would never be repeated again.
Invasive Gynecological Exams
A senior executive from Qatar Airways revealed shocking details during an Australian Senate inquiry, shedding light on a deeply distressing incident that took place at Doha’s international airport in 2020.
In 2020, 13 Australian women experienced invasive gynecological examinations on a Qatar Airways flight bound for Sydney, an incident that is now gaining public attention and scrutiny.
Australian Transport Minister Catherine King displayed her concerns about this incident and how it influenced her decision to deny Qatar Airways any further flights into Australia.
“A One Off”
Matt Raos, Qatar Airways’ Senior Vice President for Global Sales, made a strong commitment during the inquiry, vowing that the airline would never allow such a distressing incident to occur again and claiming it was “a one-off incident, a very extreme incident.”
Amidst growing concerns from female passengers, a government representative sought assurances from Qatar Airways that passengers would never be subjected to such invasive examinations in the future, “We’ve had nothing like it previously in our history, and we’re completely committed to ensuring nothing like this ever happens again,” said Raos.
Traumatic Incident Sparks Lawsuit
In the wake of the traumatic incident, five Australian women have filed a lawsuit against Qatar Airways in the Australian Federal Court, seeking accountability and justice.
The five women claim they were stopped and searched at gunpoint without consent before enduring distressing gynecological exams.
To the astonishment of many, Qatar Airways did not respond or apologize for the distressing event, leaving the affected women seeking answers and accountability.
Failure to Ensure “Safety and Dignity”
The aggrieved women passionately urged the Australian Transport Minister to consider the ordeal they went through, having a large say in the decision to ban additional Qatar Airways flights to Australian cities.
The women wrote, “It is our strong belief that Qatar Airways is not fit to carry passengers around the globe, let alone to major Australian airports,” before urging, “When you are considering Qatar Airways’ bid for extra landing rights, we beg you to consider its insensitive and irresponsible treatment of us and its failure to ensure the safety and dignity of its passengers.”
Qatar Airways was taken aback by Australia’s swift and unexplained rejection of their application for more flights to major Australian cities, with Raos saying they were “surprised and shocked.”
Qatar Airways had anticipated significant economic benefits from the additional flights, claiming that Australia would also have received an extra $1.9 billion (US) from the deal.
Incident and Reaction Under Scrutiny
The Australian Senate inquiry is delving into a variety of bilateral air service agreements, evaluating how decisions are made regarding flight services and operations and how these incidents can be prevented in the future.
Australia’s response to the incident is under scrutiny, with experts and authorities evaluating if the government’s actions were sufficient in addressing the disturbing event and its aftermath.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sorbis
Source: The Economic Times