Although there is still some time before normal flights resume, we thought it would be interesting to share what Emirates are doing to help flights start again and get people moving. The new reality is, that although not all of the below will be common place on every flight, much of it will be adopted in the near months once flights resume to ensure the safety of passengers and reduce the spread of infection.
Emirates in coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will be introducing additional check and precautions on flights departing out of Dubai. Passengers on flight to Tunisia on 15th April 2020, were all tested for COVID-19 before departing from Dubai. Emirates is the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers.
This quick blood test was conducted by a team from the Dubai Health Authority and results were returned in 10 minutes. The tests were carried out onsite within the Group Check-in areas of Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates Chief Operating Officer said: “The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. This would have not been possible without the support of Dubai Airport and other government authorities. We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”
HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: “We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travellers. To tackle COVID-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organisations and the private health sector and we have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to provision of high-quality health services in line with the latest international guidelines. We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organisations.”
To help with social distancing, Emirates airline’s check-in and boarding formalities have also been adapted. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk to provide additional safety measures to passengers and employees during any interaction. It is now mandatory for gloves and masks to be worn by all employees and they must use hand sanitiser.
Passengers must also wear marks when in the airport and when on board the aircraft. They'll also be required to follow social distancing guidelines.
In-flight services have been modified to help with safety as well, including the removal of all magazines and printed literature. Food and drinks will still be served on board but modified packaging will be used to reduce any contact during meal service.
Cabin bags are now limited to laptops, handbags, briefcases and any baby items. Any larger bags must be checked-in and Emirates will add to passengers check-in allowance to accommodate for this.
To further reduce the spread, after every journey all Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai.