Cathay Pacific launched Cathay Care this week, its new health commitment to passengers for safe travel in the time of coronavirus. This new protocol incorporates exceptional cleaning, protection, and hygiene measures laid out in an accessible way, to reassure passengers that it is safe to fly. Let’s take a closer look at what this health commitment involves.
Protecting passengers at the airport
As Hong Kong’s national carrier, Cathay Pacific has outlined several steps that will be taken at Hong Kong International Airport to ensure the safety of both passengers, crew, and staff as flights start to resume. In a statement seen by Simple Flying, the airline has outlined a number of new protocols that have been introduced to increase safety measures as it becomes apparent that coronavirus could be here to stay for some time.
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All passengers departing with Cathay Pacific are encouraged to check-in online. Where that is not possible, passengers can use the modified check-in counters that now have screens to protect both the passengers and staff. In addition, employees will be issued with masks and gloves. The lanes at the counters will be marked to ensure adequate social distancing.
Hong Kong International Airport is using robots to help sanitize areas, keeping passenger and crew areas as clean as possible. Hand sanitizer is also available at points across the airport. The airport is also trialing the application of an antimicrobial coating on all passenger facilities.
Temperature checks are mandatory for all passengers, crew, and staff. All passengers arriving at the airport will have to provide mandatory health declarations, submit to a COVID-19 test, and quarantine.
Protecting passengers onboard
Following the ease of travel restrictions, many are wondering just how safe is it to fly. To some, air travel seems relatively risky as you are forced to mix with a variety of people in a captive environment. To put their passengers’ minds at ease, Cathay Pacific has described in detail how it will be ensuring the cleanliness of its aircraft and reducing the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
All Cathay Pacific aircraft have HEPA filters that filter 99.97% of the particles onboard, including bacteria and viruses. Aircraft will also be disinfected between each flight.
Masks will remain mandatory during the boarding process and onboard the plane. The services on board have also been modified to reduce contact with the crew.
The cabin crew will be required to wear a mask, gloves, and goggles. Strict layover guidelines have also been introduced for the crew to ensure that their health is carefully monitored and that there is no contact with the local community.
Cathay Pacific is currently offering flexible travel on all flights booked up to July 31st, 2020. In a bid to increase ticket sales and to allow travelers to book with confidence, the airline is offering unlimited changes of dates and destinations on their reservation for one year.
Services are starting to ramp up again after a turbulent few months, that at one point saw Cathay Pacific carrying just 600 passengers a day. During July, the carrier will be offering flights from three European cities; London Heathrow, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. Cathay Pacific will also be offering several flights a week to five destinations in North America; Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Also, flights will operate to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and 12 destinations across Asia and mainland China.
Travel to and from London was recently bolstered by an announcement from the UK Transport Secretary. The announcement stated that passengers coming to England from Hong Kong are exempt from self-isolation on arrival.
What do you think of Cathay Pacific’s health commitment to passengers? Let us know in the comments.