Hong Kong Airlines joins a number of carriers in implementing new health and safety requirements onboard its flights and at airports in an effort to restore confidence in travel in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The carrier has made face masks mandatory for passengers during check-in, boarding, and “at all times” onboard except when eating or drinking or in an emergency situation.

“You are also highly recommended to wear your face covering when moving around the airport for extra protection,” the carrier said on its website.

Check-in and boarding 

The airline is also encouraging passengers to use Hong Kong Airline’s online check-in service up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

At the airport, the Hong Kong-based airline is asking passengers to practice social distancing by leaving at least 1.5 metres between themselves and others, especially when queuing up for check-in and boarding.

The carrier said it has also made hand sanitisers available at all of its check-in areas, ticketing counters, transfer desks, and boarding gates.

For customers checking in at the airport, the carrier said its check-in team will ask them for a current contact number to “assist health authorities with track and trace measures if required”.

“To comply with regulatory requirements, temperature checks for passengers will be conducted at the boarding gate for Mainland China flights,” it added.

The airline will carry out boarding by rows “to avoid overcrowding at the door”, and passengers will be asked to scan their own boarding pass.

The carrier said it is giving its airport staff and crew a care pack comprising of personal protection equipment such as masks and gloves when they report for duty. Sanitising and cleaning products are also available at their work areas for extra disinfection if required.

During the flight 

Hong Kong Airlines says it has an “enhanced” cleaning programme in place to ensure that cabins are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before every flight. It added that its aircraft are fitted with HEPA filters.

It is making sanitising wipes available “on request” if passengers wish to wipe down their seating area, it said.

The carrier has also suspended inflight catering services “until further notice”.

Coronavirus: Hong Kong Airlines will stop offering passengers in-flight meals

Leaving the plane

“All passengers should remain seated until they are called to disembark by rows to avoid overcrowding in the cabin,” the carrier said in a statement.