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Better safe than sorry

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BANGKOK, 29 April 2020: Here’s a glimpse of airline travel, the new normal that awaits us all as airlines comply with new strict measures to Covid-19 proof the travel experience.

THAI Airways International supplied the repatriation flight for the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Thai Embassy in New Zealand for 168 Thais returning home on Monday.

The TG 492 charter flight departed Auckland, New Zealand, at 1300 (LT) and landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport at 1926 on 27 April. Following health checks a body temperature scans at the airport, they transferred to the Bangkok Palace and Movenpick hotels for a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Here is what we should expect whenever we fly in the future. Passengers strictly follow social distances rules at every stage of the journey, including onboard the aircraft. This included check-in, passenger boarding and seat assignment.

Approximately 50% of the seats in the aircraft remain vacant to provide safe distancing.

Even on a long haul flight passengers are served meals in disposable boxes to avoid physical contact.

Instead of their smart, fashionable uniforms, cabin crew don protective gowns including appropriate head covers, visors, medical masks and gloves throughout the flight. The crew observes passengers for Covid-19 symptoms and conducts temperature scans during the flight.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), fares could rise by 30 to 50% mainly to compensate for the empty seats.

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