Qatar Airways to introduce touchless entertainment technology

Qatar's flagship airline will allow passengers to access in-flight entertainment without touching the screen in March as a way to limit the spread of COVID-19.

al-monitor Qatar Airways employees wait at the boarding counter ahead of the first flight bound for Cairo after the resumption of flights between Qatar and Egypt, at Qatar's Hamad International Airport near the capital Doha on Jan. 18, 2021. Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images.

Feb 22, 2021

Qatar Airways will soon introduce touchless technology on its flights as a way of protecting its passengers against the coronavirus.

The Doha-based airline’s Zero Touch technology allows passengers to access in-flight entertainment without touching the screen on the seat in front of them, as is customary on flights. Instead, they are able to pair a phone or other electronic device to Qatar’s entertainment system via Wi-Fi and navigate through the options on their devices. It also allows for passengers to use their own Bluetooth headphones, Qatar Airways said in a press release last week.

The touchless option is expected to be rolled out from late March onward, a Qatar Airways spokeswoman told Al-Monitor on Sunday.

COVID-19 can live for a time on various surfaces, but health experts have yet to determine if surface-to-person is a likely form of transmission. Airlines around the world, including Qatar, are still deep cleaning and disinfecting cabins in between flights anyway.

Qatar Airways is unique among Gulf carriers in that it never stopped regularly scheduled passenger flights last year at the start of the pandemic. The airline is currently flying to around 130 destinations. In January, Qatar Airways expanded flights to several US destinations.