As regularly-scheduled passenger flights to nine destinations begin, Emirates has unveiled its safety and hygiene standards both for onboard and on the ground.
From May 21, the Gulf carrier will operate scheduled flight services to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne. These regular flights will be accompanied by new measures, including free hygiene kits and protective barriers at check-in desks, said the airline.
The complimentary hygiene kits will be given to every passenger upon check-in at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai. The kits have masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser.
At Dubai International Airport, gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees. On Emirates flights, only masks are mandated (not gloves).
On arrival 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 travellers maintain the necessary distance at check-in, immigration, boarding and transfer areas.
“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,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer. “Every measure implemented is an additional reduction in risk, and taken altogether, our aim is really to make flying as safe as possible.”
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.
Customers travelling through Dubai International Airport and transferring onto 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 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.
To minimise the risk of infection by touch, magazines and print reading material will not be available during this time. 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. Emirates will resume its service with hot meals, using cutlery and crockery that has been 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. The airline also reminded customers to bring pens in order to fill out Health Declaration Forms required for some destinations.