DUBAI: As Emirates airline restarted regular passenger flights from Dubai International to nine destinations with a series of new safety procedures from today, Dubai Airports said all these flights will operate from DXB’s Terminal 3. Those travelling are required to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and arrive at the airport four hours before their flight (but not more than four hours prior to flight time) to allow time for additional security measures, Dubai Airports said in a press statement.
In order to maintain public safety and social distancing requirements, travellers without confirmed tickets, passengers without proper PPE, and passengers who arrive to the airport earlier than four hours before their scheduled departure time will not be permitted to enter the terminal buildings.
THE NINE DESTINATIONS:
The nine destinations to which Emirates will be flying from today (May 21) include: London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne. The airline will also offer connections in Dubai for customers travelling between the UK and Australia. Passengers should also be conscious of sterilisation timings and have tickets available for presentation if and as required by Dubai Police.
Announcing a series of new safety measures on Thursday, Emirates said it has staggered the boarding sequence on all its flights, with passengers now required to 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 personal protective equipment (PPE), will facilitate the boarding sequence. The boarding gates are deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight.
Cleaning of toilets:
Emirates has also 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. Each lavatory has been equipped with sanitising soap and hand washing instructions.
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 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.
Health declaration forms:
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. Customers are reminded to bring pens to fill out Health Declaration Forms required for some destinations.
Emirates’ aircraft cabins have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97 per cent of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens and germs from cabin air for a healthier and safer on-board environment. After its journey and on landing in Dubai, each aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.
Complimentary hygiene kits:
At the check-in, Emirates has introduced complimentary hygiene kits to be given to every passenger at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai. These kits comprise masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser. The hygiene kits supplement a slew of additional measures already introduced to keep customers safe.
Gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at the airport in Dubai, while only masks are mandated on Emirates flights. On arrival at the airport, thermal scanners at various areas monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travellers maintain the necessary distance at check-in, immigration, boarding and transfer areas.
The airport team has also installed protective barriers at each check-in desk and immigration counter to provide additional safety reassurance to passengers and employees during interaction over the counter.
Customers travelling through Dubai International Airport and transferring onto another flight, will go through thermal screening upon disembarkation. 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.
To safeguard its employees, Emirates’ flight and cabin crew are provided with cars for pick up and drop off at their home at the beginning and end of their duty. Operating crew check in for their rostered flights in a dedicated crew airport facility before being transported to the aircraft. Layovers in destination cities have been reduced where possible and on long-haul flights, where layovers are necessary, crew are put up in individual rooms in hotels.
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. On board every flight, the crew will be in PPE.
Commenting on these measures, Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, said, “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. 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.”
He said, “We are working with all the stakeholders in Dubai - including the airport, immigration, health and aviation authorities to implement such measures, and we will continue to review and consult expert advice for any development and changes. We are all aware that we have to adapt to different practices during this pandemic in our day to day activities.
“All these measures, in combination with the proactive pandemic management strategies that the UAE has taken, show the seriousness with which we are taking the health and safety of our local and global communities and will give confidence to the public.”