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Cathay Pacific reassures public about cleanliness standards

13 May 2009

The Cathay Pacific (CX) Boeing B747-400 from San Francisco to Hongkong, used by the territory’s second confirmed H1N1 case, was cleaned and disinfected following recommendations by international and local health authorities – even before the findings were made public today.

In a just released statement, the airline reassured passengers that it adopted “HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresters) filtration systems that are capable of filtering 99.999 percent of dust particles and airborne contaminates, ensuring the highest possible quality of cabin air. This is the same as that used in a hospital surgery room.”

Stepped up cleaning measures for all aircraft cover the cabin, bathrooms, galleys, common areas, individual seat and meal tables. All used pillows, blankets, headset covers and headrest covers are replaced.

The cleaning/disinfectant solution is hospital grade biocide, extremely effective on bacteria, virus and fungi but harmless to humans and the environment, CX added.

Other measures taken include posting public health alert notices with health tips at all check-in counters at more than 72 airports worldwide, broadcasting updated health messages, asking inbound passengers to Hongkong to sign health declaration forms, stocking up on face masks onboard and urging inflight crew to take a temperature check before going to work among others.

Hongkong’s latest H1N1 case is a male passenger, who flew in from San Francisco at 1900 Hongkong time on May 11 on CX879. He was seated in 62H Economy Class. He sought medical help at the airport upon landing and was taken to the hospital where he since tested positive for Influenza A (H1N1).

The carrier has provided health authorities with the passenger manifest of 51 passengers in the same cabin zone as the traveller concerned.

A total of 273 passengers, four cockpit crew and 16 cabin crew were on the flight. For more details, visit www.cathaypacific.com

Margie T Logarta

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