Three Gulf carriers have been awarded Diamond status in the inaugural ‘APEX Health Safety, powered by SimpliFlying’ audit, recognising their efforts in ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitisation.

Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Saudia all received the award, which aims to help re-build confidence in air travel by creating a global standard for health and safety measures.

The judges took into consideration the implementation of COVID-prevention measures across the customer journey of all three airlines.

The carriers have taken considerable steps to enhance health and safety in the wake of the pandemic.

Etihad introduced the Etihad Wellness programme, a first in the industry, providing essential travel health information and care online via webchat, at Abu Dhabi International Airport, and in flight.

Qatar Airways’ onboard safety measures include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers, while Saudia protocols include digital boarding passes, personal Dettol hygiene kits for passengers plus full sterilisation of aircraft using UVC ultraviolet rays.