Emirates has resumed regular scheduled passenger flights to nine destinations on Thursday with multi-faceted measures for employee and customer care at every step of the travel journey, redefining safety and hygiene standards on board and on the ground, according to a press release.
"Emirates is implementing a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the traveller's journey, to enhance the sanitisation of all touch points, and ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees," said Adel Al Redha, Emirates' Chief Operating Officer (CEO).
The risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is already very low, but we have spared no effort in reviewing and redesigning every step, from check-in to disembarkation," the Emirates CEO added.
"We are all aware that we have to adapt to different practices during this pandemic in our day to day activities", said Adel Al Redha.
Emirates has introduced complimentary hygiene kits to be given to every passenger upon check in at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai.
These kits comprise masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser.
Customers travelling through Dubai International Airport and transferring onto another flight will go through thermal screening upon disembarkation, reads the press release.
Transfer desks at the airport have also been installed with protective barriers as a precautionary measure. Airport staff, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) will direct customers from a safe distance for extra assistance. Customers will be given an additional hygiene kit at the gate before boarding their connecting flight.
The boarding sequence has been staggered and passengers board by row, from the last row to the first, in small numbers.
The waiting area has also been modified to ensure all customers observe social distancing. Emirates boarding agents, dressed in PPE, will facilitate the boarding sequence. The boarding gates are deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight, says the press statement issued Thursday.
All cabin crew on board will be fully kitted out in PPEs. To uphold the highest standards of safety and hygiene, Emirates has added a cabin service assistant (CSA) to the crew complement on flights over 1.5 hours.
The CSAs will ensure lavatories are cleaned at frequent intervals of every 45 minutes. On return to Dubai, where all Emirates cabin crew are based, Covid-19 tests are done on all crew.
Every crew member has been mandated a 14-day quarantine in their homes after every flight, unless they are on duty.
To minimise the risk of infection by touch, magazines and print reading material will not be available during this time.
In premium classes, single use menus and wine lists will be provided to passengers. Comfort items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, headphones and toys will be hygienically sealed.
Emirates will resume its service with hot meals, using high quality, cutlery and crockery, sterilised before each use.
Cabin baggage have to be checked-in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board, according to the statement.
Emirates' modern aircraft cabins have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97% of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens and germs from cabin air.
After its journey and on landing in Dubai, each aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.