Launching its #ThankYouHeroes initiative, Qatar Airways has been heavily attacked by social media users for including Israeli medical professionals in its massive tickets giveaway, meant to show gratitude towards workers of the medical field around the world, who have been overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
United in dedication, we share our gratitude. On the occasion of International Nurses Day, from tomorrow until 18 May we're giving away 100,000 complimentary return tickets to healthcare professionals to anywhere on our network at https://t.co/DmXa4ZXLqp. #ThankYouHeroes pic.twitter.com/d88GIaOmZo— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) May 11, 2020
On the World Nurses Day earlier this week, the state-owned flag carrier pledged over 100k free tickets to medical professionals, who sign their names up via the initiative's website.
"Thank you to all of the frontline healthcare professionals across the globe. Your tremendous efforts and incredible resilience have given us hope in these times of uncertainty. In recognition of your hard work and dedication, we are offering 100,000 complimentary tickets on Qatar Airways' flights." Qatar Airways website highlighted.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.— Jos (@Jos06583944) May 13, 2020
Although Israel does not appear on Qatar Airways maps, a press release from the airline says that “healthcare professionals from every country in the world will be eligible for tickets.”https://t.co/DpgPZcF9rh
Statements of the airline’s CEO Mr. Akbar Al Baker clearly indicated that doctors and nurses in every single country in the world will be eligible for the giveaways, "depending on population and size of the country, including Israel."
Social media users pointed out the irony in the Qatari continuous criticism of other GCC countries, who have openly expressed their willingness to have "normalized" relations with Israel, especially through state-funded Al-Jazeera channel.
Translation: "Hey Aljazeera!! Isn't this normalization?"
Some Twitter users anticipated that pro-Qatar commentators will justify the news by arguing that their move isn't political and that it's "a merely humanitarian gesture."
Translation: "Qatar's politics is all about the human aspect"
Each winning doctor or nurse will be given two complimentary return Economy Class tickets so they take a trip with a person they choose, in addition to duty-free discounts at Doha's airport.
Qatar Airways have been reporting a sharp decline in profit; following air travel bans in the wake of the novel coronavirus and is expected to lay off 20% of its staff in the coming weeks.
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