Air India Is Buying 600,000 PPE Kits For Passengers

Air India is purchasing 600,000 safety kits for its passengers. These kits will include face shields, masks, and hand sanitizers. Air India is currently undertaking a major repatriation operation, as it brings home thousands of Indians every day. Let’s find out more.

Air India Getty
Air India is undertaking a number of repatriation missions, which require safety kits. Photo: Getty Images

Safety kits become more common

As flying slowly returns, airlines are moving quickly to provide the highest levels of hygiene to passengers. Domestic flights in India require airlines to give all passengers a safety kit with these essentials. Airlines around the world, such as Emirates, are taking similar steps to keep passengers safe. Masks, hand sanitizers, and face shields have now become key to ensuring passenger safety onboard.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.

Emirates Hygiene Kit
Airlines around the world are giving passengers safety kits to ensure high hygiene levels. Photo: Emirates

With safety kits becoming common, it is no wonder Air India is moving to purchase more of them for their operations. The airline will purchase the 600,000 kits through a tender offer, allowing anyone to bid for the contract to supply these kits. However, the airline has specified that the total number of kits needed could increase or decrease depending on requirements.

Air India will likely use these kits on its repatriation operations, known as Vande Bharat, as it ramps up flights. However, these kits could also be destined for domestic flights that have similar requirements.

Repatriation operations

Air India has led India’s massive repatriation operation, operating all the flights to long-haul destinations. Since the beginning of the flights in early May, Air India has brought home over 75,000 Indians. Repatriation flights are now in their third phase, with the government set to operate 432 flights to 43 countries in the coming months.

Air India, and its subsidiary Air India Express, have flown most of the flights, while private carriers have flown some flights. Some repatriation flights operate from virus hotspots, requiring very high levels of hygiene for passengers. This has prompted the need for more safety equipment for passengers, especially since there is no social distancing onboard the flights.

Air India Express 737
Air India has led the repatriation operations as the flag carrier. Photo: Nikkul via Wikimedia Commons

Face shields, used with a mask, have proven to be helpful in preventing the spread of the virus. Considering that these operations will continue for the coming months, it makes sense why Air India is moving to place a bulk order for this safety equipment. Safety kits will also be helpful on domestic flights, ensuring Air India has a use for the kits.

The new normal?

Air India’s large order could point to the fact that measures such as masks and sanitizers could be the new normal while flying. We might have to be ready to fly our next flights in protective equipment, as the virus continues to spread around the world. Until such time as we have a coronavirus vaccine or treatment, it is likely safety kits are a part of the future of flying.

Do you see PPE kits as the new normal in flying? Let us know in the comments below