All Nippon Airways (ANA) will install the world’s first hands-free toilet doors on its aircraft to minimise physical contact onboard and “limit the potential spread of pathogens”.
The Japanese carrier partnered with aircraft interior supplier Jamco Corporation last year to develop the innovative door, carrying out trials of the product at the airline’s lounge at Tokyo Haneda airport last September.
The hands-free door is equipped with a large inner door locking knob and an additional handle so that passengers can use their elbows to unlock it. Signage has been placed near the toilet cubicle to provide operational instructions for passengers who are unfamiliar with the door mechanism.
To see how it works, watch the video below:
The doors will be introduced on domestic flights from May 1, with the airline planning to serve all domestic and international aircraft in the future. The product will be installed on a total of 21 aircraft, divided across 11 B787-8 aircraft, two B787-9 aircraft and eight B777-200 aircraft.
Shinichi Inoue, Senior Executive Vice President, Customer Experience Management and Planning, commented:
“Guided by the principles of ANA Care Promise, we have continued to invest in the development and implementation of innovative technologies because the health and safety of passengers and our staff is the top priority.
“The hands-free lavatory door is the latest example of us putting this principle into practice as we look for ways to make the travel experience safer and more convenient.”
The initiative is part of the airline’s ANA Care Promise pledge, a set of cleanliness standards.