Emirates reduces layover for crew and other new measures to fight coronavirus
Emirates unveiled multi-faceted measures for employee and customer care as the airline resumes regularly scheduled passenger flights to nine destinations.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, said that Emirates is implementing a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the traveller’s journey.
“The risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is already very low, but we have spared no effort in reviewing and redesigning every step, from check-in to disembarkation. Every measure implemented is an additional reduction in risk. Our aim is really to make flying as safe as possible.
“We are working with all the stakeholders in Dubai, including the airport, immigration, health and aviation authorities to implement these measures. We will continue to review and consult expert advice for any development and changes,” he said.
Here are the measures the airline has put in place:
Emirates introduced complimentary hygiene kits that passengers will receive when they check-in at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai. These kits comprise of masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser. The hygiene kits supplement a slew of additional measures already introduced to keep customers safe.
Gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at the airport in Dubai, while only masks are mandated on Emirates flights. On arrival at the airport, thermal scanners at various areas monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees. Physical distancing indicators will be implemented to help travellers maintain the necessary distance at check-in, immigration, boarding and transfer areas.
The airport team has also installed protective barriers at each check-in desk and immigration counter to provide additional safety reassurance to passengers and employees during an interaction over the counter.
Customers travelling through Dubai International Airport and connecting to another flight will go through thermal screening upon disembarkation. Transfer desks at the airport have also been installed with protective barriers as a precautionary measure. Airport staff, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) will direct customers from a safe distance for extra assistance. Customers will be given an additional hygiene kit at the gate before boarding their connecting flight.
The boarding sequence has been staggered. Passengers will board by row, from the last row to the first, in small numbers. The waiting area has been modified to ensure all customers observe social distancing. Emirates boarding agents, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE), will facilitate the boarding sequence. The boarding gates are deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight.
All cabin crew on board will be fully kitted out in PPEs. To uphold the highest standards of safety and hygiene, Emirates added a cabin service assistant (CSA) to the crew complement on flights over an hour and a half. The CSAs will clean the lavatory at frequent intervals of every 45 minutes. Each lavatory has been equipped with sanitising soap and hand washing instructions.
To minimise the risk of infection by touch, magazines and print reading material will not be available. In premium classes, single-use menus and wine lists are available. Comfort items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, headphones and toys will be hygienically sealed. Emirates will resume its service with hot meals, using high quality, cutlery and crockery, sterilised before each use. Cabin baggage has to be checked-in, with only items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby essentials allowed on board.
Emirates’ modern aircraft cabins have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97% of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens and germs from cabin air for a healthier and safer on-board environment. After its journey and on landing in Dubai, each aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.
Emirates’ flight and cabin crew will be picked up and dropped off at their home at the beginning and end of their duty. Operating crew check-in for their rostered flights in a dedicated crew airport facility before being transported to the aircraft. Layovers in destination cities have been reduced where possible and on long-haul flights, where layovers are necessary, the crew are put up in individual rooms in hotels.
When they return to their home country of Dubai, they will undergo Covid-19 tests. There will be a mandated 14-day quarantine for the crew after every flight unless they are on duty.