DOHA, Qatar, 20 May 2020: Qatar Airways has made more changes to onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew.
One of the significant changes is the introduction of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits for cabin crew while onboard. Another modifies service that reduces interactions between the passengers and the crew during the flight.
Cabin crew have already been wearing some PPE items during flights for a few weeks, including gloves and face masks. The new rule state that cabin crew will now wear PPE suits over their uniforms in addition to safety goggles, gloves, and a mask to increase the safety margin.
Also effective from Monday, 25 May 25, passengers must wear coverings inflight and recommends they bring their own for fit and comfort purposes.
The airline has also applied other additional health and safety measures onboard its flights.
Business-class meals will be served on a tray instead of a table set up, and a cutlery wrap will be offered to passengers as an alternative to individual cutlery service, in an effort to reduce contact between the crew and the passengers.
In economy class, all meals and cutlery are served sealed as usual. Additionally, large bottles of hand sanitiser will be placed in the galleys and made available for both cabin crew and passengers. All social areas onboard the aircraft have also been closed to observe social distancing measures.
Passengers flying business class can enjoy the privacy of the Qsuite comes with sliding privacy partitions and doors creating a private sanctuary.
Passengers can also opt to the ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator in their private suite if they wish to limit their interactions with the cabin crew.
Aircraft are regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Its home airport, Hamad International Airport, has also invested in deploying disinfectant robots, fully autonomous mobile emitting concentrated UV-C light known to be effective in eliminating the majority of infectious microorganisms.
Qatar Airways claims its aircraft feature the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air, providing the most effective protection against infection.
Qatar Airways has revised its distribution of cabin crew on flights, sending two groups on short-haul and medium-haul flights – the first to manage the outbound trip, the second to manage the inbound trip. For long-haul flights, crew members who have to stay overnight in a foreign city can only travel in Qatar Airways-approved transport and must remain in their rooms, limiting human interactions.
In terms of passengers, Qatar Airways is encouraging social distancing where possible, especially on flights with lighter loads. Distancing is also implemented during the boarding process, ensuring passengers are allocated seats far apart from each other.