As Emirates resumes regularly scheduled flights to just nine destinations today, the Dubai-based airline announced that it will redeploy its onboard cleaning assistants to ensure aircraft lavatories are cleaned every 45-minutes. The airline promised today to set industry-leading safety standards in the face of the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The cleaning assistants normally only work on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A380’s primarily to clean the iconic shower spa between uses by First Class passengers.
But with the Airbus A380 fleet grounded for the foreseeable future and the possibility that the shower spa will initially be out of bounds even once they start flying again, the so-called CSA’s have found a new role on Emirates’ Boeing 777’s.
Unlike cabin crew, the predominantly Filipino CSA’s are not trained in safety and security protocols. In the past CSA’s would be expected to share a hotel room when they are on an international layover but Emirates today said that all crew would have their own individual hotel room to adhere with social distancing guidelines.
In addition, all flight crew will now be driven in private cars to and from Dubai International Airport (DXB) and will receive a full COVID-19 test on arrival back in Dubai. All crew who operate a flight will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.
“Emirates is implementing a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the traveller’s journey, to enhance the sanitisation of all touchpoints, and ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees,” explained Emirates’ chief operating officer Adel Al Redha.
Amongst initiatives launched by the airline are plans to conduct thermal screening on all passengers before they are even allowed to enter the Dubai International Airport. Emirates will also hand out hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser hygiene kits. While gloves must be worn in the airport, Emirates will only require passengers to wear a mask once they are onboard.
Cabin crew and CSA’s will continue to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including a disposable gown, surgical mask, gloves and goggles for the time being.
“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. Every measure implemented is an additional reduction in risk, and taken altogether, our aim is really to make flying as safe as possible,” Al Redha continued.
From today, Emirates will serve London Heathrow Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne with regularly scheduled flights. Transit passengers will be allowed on flights between the UK and Australia, and Emirates today confirmed that passengers would be allowed off the plane in Dubai before connecting through.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.