While most airlines have drastically reduced their flying schedules, some are still operating a small number of flights or starting to resume their operations. To protect the employees and their customers as well as to reduce the risk of the Coronavirus, airlines are changing their inflight rules, including social distancing measures to the skies.
Here’s a look at the latest measures airlines are taking:
Effective from 10 May 2020, 23:59 PM, passengers flying with Singapore Airlines & SilkAir are now required to bring their own mask and wear them throughout the flight. The carrier stated that this new "Bring Your Own Mask" requirement is as per an order given by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. The cabin crew of the National carriers have already been wearing masks along with gloves during flights.
Other measures that the carriers are changing on board:
Passengers will go through health assessment before boarding the aircraft which includes a verbal health declaration and temperature checks.
Meals will be suspended to all flights within South East Asia and China.
Hot towel services, menus and magazines will also be removed on all flights.
To prevent further spread of the Coronavirus, passengers on all flights of KLM, the dutch subsidiary of Air France KLM, are required to wear a face mask from the first boarding call until they have gone through the arrival gate of their destination. The airline also stated that without the face mask, passengers will not be allowed to board the aircraft.
Children who are under 10 years old as well as passengers who cannot wear a face mask due to medical reasons will be exempted from this line of requirement. These new measures applies till 31 August 2020, at least.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
To ensure the safety and health of its customers and employees, Emirates is stepping up preventative measures at the airport and on board aircraft. On top of wearing face masks and gloves, all cabin crew, ground staff personnel and boarding agents will now wear PPE which includes a protective disposable gown over thier uniform and a safety visor. Passengers on all Emirate’s flights will have to wear their masks and gloves throughout their journey from check-in until they disembark.
Modified inflight services
For wellbeing and safety reasons, food & beverages will keep on being offered as a form of bento-styled boxes which will minise the risk of interaction between the cabin crew and passengers during meal services. The bento-styled boxes provide the passengers with sandwiches, beverages, snacks and desserts.
Not only that, all in flight magazines and other print reading material will be temporarily unavailable. This is to reduce the risk of spreading through touch.
Carry-on items such as laptops, handbags, briefcases or baby items will be allowed in the cabin. However, cabin baggage will no longer be accepted on Emirates flights. All other items will have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to a passenger’s check-in baggage allowance.
AirAsia Group has also implemented the measure of passengers bringing their own mask and wearing it before, during and after their flights. The group has also updated the cabin baggage policy by allowing only one piece of cabin luggage not more than five kilograms per guest.
Here are other additional measures the low-cost carrier is implementing on the ground but not limited to:
Temperature screening will occur at different checkpoints, including boarding gates
Social distancing measure e.g floor markers at queuing areas, including check-in counters & kiosks
Cabin will be disinfected via aerosol spraying before departure of all domestic and international flights
AirAsia Phillippines: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew
AirAsia Phillipines is trialing a customized PPE suit design by Filipino fashion designer Puey Quiñones for its cabin crew to use on special recovery flights. As seen, the protective gear embraces the airline signature red-hot colour and the design have allegedly been approved by the Philippines’ Department of Health.
To provide passengers with a peace of mind, Japan Airlines is adding a temporary restriction on seat assignment until 30th June 2020 which will result in more personal space inside the aircraft cabin. As such, passengers will no longer be able to select and/or reserve seats.
This measure was first enforced to Japan’s Airlines Domestic flights. However, from May 10th onwards, blocking the middle seats will also be applicable on International flights.
*This new measure may not be applicable to some aircraft and routes, First and Business class on international flights.