Global airline alliance SkyTeam has announced a pledge to help protect passengers and staff.
The alliance-wide pledge sees all 19 airlines support a series of personal safety measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic when they travel on or between SkyTeam members.
SkyCare&Protect brings together safety and hygiene practices from each member airline and recommendations from health and industry authorities. This includes the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC, ECDC).
SkyTeam members currently require the use of face coverings for cabin crew and passengers.
SkyCare&Protect currently consists of 15 measures, based on five layers of protection that enhance personal safety at every step of the journey.
- Ready to fly, where members commit to creating a more touchless journey
- Cleaned, includes increased cleaning of high-touch areas both at the airport and onboard
- Protected, includes floor markings, controlled queuing, and signage to help proper spacing
- Screened, some members may conduct passenger health checks
- Informed, members will regularly update travel information on their websites
Ready to fly, as a technology-driven alliance, members are committed to creating a more touchless journey. All airlines provide passengers the ability to check-in digitally for their flights. This limits contact with airport staff and reduces the need to touch surfaces such as kiosks.* Certain members and airports are offering additional contactless services including self-baggage drop and boarding.
Cleaned, members have committed to multiple measures to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness. This includes increased cleaning of high-touch areas both at the airport and onboard, while aircraft are being intensively disinfected more frequently. On request, cleaning wipes are available if customers wish to further clean their space.
Additionally, the majority of modern aircraft operating in SkyTeam members’ fleets are equipped with hospital-grade High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These filters trap more than 99.95% of particles including bacteria and viruses, allowing fresh air to be circulated in the cabin every three minutes on average.
Protected, within members’ hub airports, various measures have been implemented in line with local regulations, including floor markings, controlled queuing, and signage to help facilitate proper spacing. Hygiene stations with hand sanitizers are available and the use of face coverings by airport staff and/or clear screens placed between passengers and staff offer greater protection.
Screened, some members may conduct passenger health checks, in line with local regulatory and governmental requirements. This could include temperature checks using thermal imaging cameras or hand-held thermometers at various points in the journey. Passengers may also be asked questions regarding their health during the check-in procedure or for some destinations they may require a health certificate.
Informed, to allow passengers to make educated decisions about their travel plans, members will regularly update travel information on their websites. This includes providing an overview of the measures that have been put in place to safeguard the wellbeing of passengers.
Not all measures are in place at all locations by all members. There could possible be different local measures.
The pledge comes on the 20th anniversary of the founding of SkyTeam.
SkyTeam is also working on more enhancements.
N.B. Image credit: SkyTeam