Over the last few months, airlines have been forced to adapt to flight disruptions and cancellations as well as the reintroduction of services and how to make them safe and sanitary. With that in mind, Qatar Airways has announced a series of moves that will be taken to step up security measures on board, including cabin crew wearing disposable full body protective gear during flights.
The airline’s precautionary measures are aimed at reducing interactions between passengers and crew and will see several changes taking places, including the introduction of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits for cabin crew while on-board, as well as a modified service that reduces interactions between the passengers and the crew inflight. Cabin crew have been wearing gloves and face masks, but the introduction of the suits that will be worn over their uniforms in addition to safety goggles is a new move.
From 25 May onwards, the airline will require passengers to wear face coverings inflight and recommends people bring their own for fit and comfort purposes. Qatar is also encouraging passengers to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organization, such as regular hand washing and refraining from touching the face.
Social areas on board aircraft have been closed to observe social distancing measures. Qsuite Business Class will include partitions and fully closing doors. Business-class meals will be served on a tray instead of a table set up while in economy class, all meals and cutlery are served as usual. Large bottles of hand sanitiser will be placed in the galleys and made available to both cabin crew and passengers.
“We have introduced these additional safety measures on board our flights to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of our passengers and cabin crew, and to limit the spread of coronavirus. As an airline, we maintain the highest possible hygiene standards to ensure that we can fly people home safely during this time and provide even greater reassurance that safety is our number one priority,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker said.
The airline’s linen and blankets are washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are removed of ear foams and rigorously sanitised after each flight. Hamad International Airport has also invested in deploying disinfectant robots with UV-C light technology. The airline has said it has made changes to how staff are distributed on routes to ensure further safety.
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