PPEs for crew, early check-ins: How flying in a Covid-19 era will look like
Flying under the new Covid-19 era is expected to take in dramatic changes as airlines scramble contingency plans to stay in the skies amidst a global health emergency.
According to a presentation by Kenya Airways seen by Citizen Digital, the potential return of flights will bring with it far reaching changes to past routines.
For instance, passengers on both international and domestic flights will see a one-hour increase in check-in times taking the total wait time by local and international travellers to two and three hours respectively.
The additional time being set to allow for new procedures on containing the virus spread.
Airport lounges will now incorporate floor marking indicative of social distancing as seen currently in supermarkets while temperature checks using thermal guns will now be a new normal.
Guests will always be required to have face masks on both in and out of flights while baggage trays will be frequently disinfected.
Passengers will be required to strictly abide by zoning while boarding and not priority while check-in counters will be fitted with anti-microbial screens.
Inflight, cabin crew will be required to always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while meal boxes and cutlery will require a single wrap.
Further, blankets and pillows which were previously used on multiple occasions will require individual packaging and will be deployed for single use only.
Passengers will be required to keep social distancing while disembarking while each aircraft will require deep cleaning and disinfection after each flight.
Kenya Airways is potentially set to return to the skies on Monday pending the lift on the current ban on air travel for passengers in the country.
However, KQ Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said the return will be tiered and progressive in response to observed demand.
“We will seek to restart with domestic and regional routes first before venturing back into international destinations,” he said on May 27.
“We would seek to keep routes that would build traffic for us fast and will be reviewing our network. We won’t be investing in new routes and will re-look recent investments where we will in some cases stop flying to these destinations or adjust frequency. We will be responding to the market in its new context.”
Kenya Airways operates a fleet of 36 aircraft and has 54 destinations with a majority 41 on the continent of Africa.
Prior to the pandemic, the carrier estimated a lift of four million passengers annually.