According to statistics from the global airline industry 4723 million people were forecasted to travel by air this year which is a huge leap from the 4540 million in 2019. The airline industry has fast become the major form of travel.
So maybe you need to travel and you cannot avoid the travel. How do you know you will be safe in the cabins?
In response to the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, Emirates is taking extra steps that go above and beyond industry and regulatory requirements to ensure its customers’ health and comfort, and provide them with confidence and peace of mind when planning their travel.
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection on all aircraft from Dubai regardless of route
- Peace of mind on travel plans with fee waivers for booking changes
- Offers Skywards members ability to retain status with reduced tier travel requirement
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
On all aircraft departing from its hub in Dubai, Emirates has implemented enhanced cleaning and complete disinfection of all cabins as a precaution. In line with the latest expert medical finding that the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted by touch, Emirates has placed its greatest focus on surface cleaning.
The airline uses an approved chemical that is proven to kill viruses and germs, leaves a long-lasting protective coating against new contamination of viruses, bacteria and fungi on surfaces, and is eco-friendly.
The cleaning process includes a comprehensive wipe down of all surfaces – from windows, tray tables, seat back screens, armrests, seats, in-seat controls, panels, air vents and overhead lockers in the cabin, to lavatories, galleys and crew rest areas. All of this is done in addition to other normal procedures such as changing head rest covers on all seats, replacement of reading materials, vacuuming, and more.
To complete this thorough cleaning process within an hour while the aircraft is preparing for its next mission, requires a team of 18 trained cleaners on a Boeing 777, and a team of 36 for an A380. In a 24-hour period on an average day, some 248 aircraft go through this process.
On any aircraft that were found to have transported a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, Emirates would go even further, and implement deep cleaning and disinfection in a process that takes between six to eight hours to complete. This includes the defogging of cabin interiors and misting with disinfectant across all soft furnishings, and replacement of seat covers and cushions in the affected area. The aircraft’s HEPA cabin air filters will also be replaced.
All of Emirates’ aircraft are fitted with HEPA cabin air filters which are proven to filter out 99.97% of viruses. They also remove dust, allergens and microbes from the air recirculated into the cabin and cockpit, which helps to provide a safer, healthier and more comfortable environment for the passengers and crew.
Peace of mind on travel plans
Emirates is also providing customers across its network added flexibility, choice, and value; with the ability to change their travel dates without change and reissuance fees. This waiver policy applies to all booked tickets issued on or from 7 March until 31 March 2020. Visit emirates.com for more details on the waiver.
Helping loyal flyers retain tier status
Recognising that some of its members will be impacted by travel restrictions and flight reductions, Emirates Skywards is providing its Platinum, Gold and Silver members the ability to maintain their current status by fulfilling 80% of their tier travel requirements between 31 March and 30 June 2020. In addition, Skywards members booked to travel between 1 March and 30 June 2020 will be able to benefit from an additional 20% bonus Tier Miles.
Monitoring and response protocals
The safety and well-being of customers and employees is a topmost priority at Emirates. Since January, the airline has activated its contingency response team to monitor daily developments on the COVID-19 outbreak, maintain contact with all relevant health and regulatory authorities, and ensure the airline’s response is current and appropriate.
In addition to the thermal screenings done for all passengers on arrival as they pass through customs. Emirates will be implementing thermal screening measures for all passengers travelling on US flights departing from Dubai International Airport, effective 12 March 2020. Thermal scanners will be placed at departure gates for all US gateways, starting with EK 231 to Washington Dulles International Airport. If a passenger is found to have a higher than normal temperature, they will undergo further testing
Passengers are advised to observe the general recommended time of arrival at the airport, which is 3 hours ahead of departure, to ensure seamless check-in procedures and to complete their immigration formalities.
Emirates continues to work closely with all its partners and industry stakeholders, to ensure travellers can continue their journeys with the assurance that their well-being and comfort remains at the forefront.