Plane travel and coronavirus: Qatar will return half of its planes to the sky by June

Qatar Airways plans to boost flights to about half of its network by the end of June, as governments around the globe start easing travel restrictions following months of lockdown.

The state-owned airline aims to have 80 destinations by the end of June, according to the statement sent on Wednesday. Currently, the airline operates flights to more than 30 destinations around the world.

The gradual expansion will focus on connections between the airline's hub in Doha and airports in London, Chicago, Dallas and Hong Kong, the company said. Qatar Airways' plans, which assume inbound travel, are subject to coronavirus bans being lifted at these destinations.

Governments in Europe, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have started taking steps to reopen their shuttered economies. Airlines have been particularly hit with the unprecedented near-total shutdown of travel with 70 per cent of global carrier capacity idled. The industry could burn through $US61 billion in the second quarter alone, according to the International Air Transport Association.

In a separate statement, Qatar Airways revealed plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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See also: Qatar Airways Dreamliner collides with A350 during wild storm

See also: While others are grounded, one airline is increasing flights to Australia

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