Cathay Pacific has launched a new hygiene initiative in an effort to enhance cleaning and safety measures for employees and passengers flying with the airline.

As part of the new “Cathay Care” initiative, hand sanitiser and protection screens have been introduced at check-in counters and all Cathay Pacific employees have to wear a mask and gloves.

The carrier is encouraging all passengers to check-in online to minimise contact upon arrival at the airport and guarantee social distancing. Cathay says there are also marked lanes at check-in to help with social distancing.

Passengers travelling with the airline will also have their temperatures checked at the boarding gate, and all passengers must wear a face covering during boarding and on board the aircraft, the carrier says. The airline made face masks compulsory for passengers throughout various stages of their travel journey in May.

Cathay says it uses disinfectants that kill 99.99 per cent of all viruses and bacteria. In addition, the carrier also says all of its aircrafts have HEPA filters that “filter 99.97 per cent of the particles on board such as viruses or bacteria, completely refreshing the cabin air every three minutes.”

The airline said it is “blocking off seats wherever possible” and passengers can expect “adjusted meal services to reduce contact”. Cathay has also temporarily suspended the pre-meal bar and pre-poured drinks service, but says drinks will still be available throughout the flight.

The Cathay Pacific Group said yesterday that it has adjusted its overall capacity for July to approximately 7 per cent. The Group is planning to increase flights in August by operating up to 10 per cent of its normal flight schedule next month.