Though people are being advised against all unnecessary travel, a number of airlines have announced plans to resume flights in the coming weeks - Aer Lingus and Ryanair amongst them.
With health and safety being the primary concern going forward, Aer Lingus has today revealed details of new precautionary measures they'll be implementing on flights.
Introducing a number of new measures both at airports and onboard aircraft, the measures will be in effect on all Aer Lingus services in operation this summer.
Passengers and cabin crew will be required to wear face coverings/face masks on flights - with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear one for medical reasons. These can take the form of a reusable cloth mask or a disposable mask and travellers are advised to wear them from entering the departure airport right up until leaving the destination airport.
There will be "significantly enhanced cleaning processes and procedures" implemented on all aircraft. Hospital-grade disinfectant will be used to treat all hard surfaces. Tray tables, armrests and windows will be deep cleaned by hand and the interior of every aircraft will be thoroughly disinfected daily.
On-board air filtration technology will help to remove 99.7 per cent of airborne particles from the air while new boarding and disembarkation procedures will help to prevent queue congestion. Passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers.
Passengers can also expect changes to the boarding process, enforced to make the process contactless. Customers will scan their own boarding cards at the boarding gate, showing their passport or ID to Aer Lingus staff, making the whole process contactless.
Aer Lingus will be encouraging everyone to check in on-line, to check in their luggage and use self-service kiosks where available to minimise contact. Inflight services including food and drink have been suspended on short-haul services, while a reduced service is available on long haul, with contactless payment for any purchases. There will also be reduced passenger movement in the cabin.
Speaking about the new measures, Peter O’Neill, Chief Operations Officer, Aer Lingus, said:
"It is clear that flying is going to be different for the next while. We want to reassure our customers that when the time comes and we are travelling once again, Aer Lingus will be ready to take you to your chosen destination, as safely as possible.”
Airports will also be implementing new procedures to support physical distancing and reduce contact - including the use of protective screens, hand sanitisation stations and the use of face masks.
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