Emirates has unveiled “multifaceted” measures for employees and customers, which it claims are “redefining safety and hygiene standards on board and on the ground”.
The new measures took effect today (21 May) in line with the resumption of the airline’s passenger flights to nine destinations.
As well as offering flights between Dubai and Heathrow, the airline is providing connections for customers travelling between the UK and Australia.
The airline has introduced complimentary hygiene kits, comprising masks, gloves and antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser, to be given to passengers upon check-in at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai.
Gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at Dubai airports, 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.
Protective barriers will be in place at check-in, immigration and transfer desks and physical distancing indicators at waiting areas for check-in, immigration, boarding and transfer.
Customers travelling through Dubai International Airport and transferring onto another flight will go through thermal screening upon disembarkation. Customers will be given an additional hygiene kit at the gate before boarding their connecting flight.
Boarding sequences have been staggered and passengers board by row, from the last row to the first, in small numbers, with the waiting area modified to ensure all customers observe social distancing.
Boarding gates will be deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight.
All cabin crew on board will be fully kitted out in PPEs onboard flights. A cabin service assistant (CSA) will ensure lavatories are cleaned at frequent intervals of every 45 minutes for flights over 1.5 hours.
Magazines and print reading material will not be available and in premium classes, single-use menus and wine lists will be provided to passengers.
Comfort items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, headphones and toys will be hygienically sealed. Hot meals will be served using high quality, cutlery and crockery, sterilised before each use.
Cabin baggage has to be checked-in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board.
Emirates’ modern aircraft cabins have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97 per cent of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens and germs from cabin air.
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 provided with cars for pick up and drop off at their home at the beginning and end of their duty.
Crew will be tested for coronavirus on return to Dubai. Every crew member has been mandated a 14-day quarantine in their homes after every flight, unless they’re on duty.
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.”
Visit emirates.com for more information.