Dubai based airline, Emirates, has unveiled new measures it has put in place for the entire travel journey for the care of both employees and passengers.
The new measures have been implemented with the resumption of scheduled flights to currently nine destinations.
In a statement, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, said “Emirates is implementing a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the traveller’s journey, to enhance the sanitisation of all touchpoints, and ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees. 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, and taken altogether, 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 such measures, and we will continue to review and consult expert advice for any development and changes. We are all aware that we have to adapt to different practices during this pandemic in our day to day activities.
All these measures, in combination with the proactive pandemic management strategies that the UAE has taken, show the seriousness with which we are taking the health and safety of our local and global communities and will give confidence to the public,”
Measures put in place include:
At Check In where complimentary hygiene kits to be given to every passenger at Dubai International Airport as well as on flights to Dubai. Each hygiene kit includes masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser.
The gloves and masks are mandatory for all passengers and employees at the airport in Dubai, while only masks are mandated on the flights.
At the airport, thermal scanners at various areas monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help passengers 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 interaction over the counter.
At Boarding the sequence has been staggered and passengers board by row, from the last row to the first, in small numbers. The waiting area has also 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.
While On Board all cabin crew will be fully kitted out in PPEs. To uphold the highest standards of safety and hygiene, Emirates has added a cabin service assistant (CSA) to the crew complement on flights over one an a half hours. The CSAs will ensure lavatories are cleaned at frequent intervals of every 45 minutes, and 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 beverage lists will be provided to passengers. 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 have to be checked-in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board. Customers are reminded to bring pens to fill out Health Declaration Forms required for some destinations.
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 are picked up and dropped off at their home at the beginning and end of their duty. Crew will check in at 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, crew are put up in individual rooms in hotels. On return to Dubai, where all Emirates cabin crew are based, COVID-19 tests are done on all crew. Every crew member has been mandated a 14-day quarantine in their homes after every flight, unless they are on duty.