Emirates Launches Pre-flight Coronavirus Tests

A passenger gets tested for coronavirus before boarding a flight at Dubai International Airport. Photo Credit: Emirates.

Airlines and Aviation

Emirates Airline launches pre-flight coronavirus tests at its Dubai International Airport hub. The Dubai Health Authority administers the COVID-19 rapid tests in cooperation with the airline. Emirates is first carrier in the world to conduct such tests for passengers

Pre-flight Coronavirus Tests at Dubai Airport

Group check in area of Terminal Three at Dubai International Airport. Photo Credit: Emirates.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) conducts rapid coronavirus tests in the Group Check-in area of Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. Most importantly, the results are ready within 10 minutes.

“We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights,” Adel Al Redha, Emirates Chief Operating Officer, says.

“This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”

Social Distancing

In addition to the pre-flight coronavirus tests, the airline has instituted other polices.

For example, the airline has rearranged its check-in and boarding procedures to promote  social distancing.

Moreover, it has installed protective barriers at check-in counters. In addition, it requires all employees at the airport to wear gloves and masks. They must also carry hand sanitizers.

Not only that, the airline requires passengers to wear their own masks at the airport and on board aircraft. And passengers must also follow social distancing guidelines.

Meanwhile, the airline has made other changes aboard aircraft. For example, it is not providing magazines or other types of printed reading material.

Regarding in-flight meals, Emirates has modified packaging and presentation to reduce contact between flight attendants and passengers.

In addition, the airline is not allowing passengers to carry luggage into the cabin. Because passengers must check in most items, the airline has increased their check-in baggage allowance .

However, there are a few exceptions. For example, passengers can still carry laptops, handbags, briefcases, and baby items into the cabin.

Emirates Flight Waiver Policy

Emirates is offering three options to passengers affected by flight cancellations and travel restrictions:

First, if they booked airline tickets before 31 May 2020 for travel up to 31 August 2020, the airline  will automatically extend them for 760 days.

Secondly, travel vouchers are valid for one year from date the voucher was issued. In addition, the airline will extend them for a second year.

Finally, passengers who have opted to keep their ticket or opted for a travel voucher can still apply for a refund. And there will be no refund penalties if they are unable to travel.

Emirates Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection

Emirates has implemented enhanced cleaning and complete disinfection of all flights departing from Dubai International Airport.

Because the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted by touch, the airline is focusing on surface cleaning.

The cleaning process includes a comprehensive wipe down of all surfaces.. For example, crew wipe down windows, tray tables, seat back screens, armrests, seats, in-seat controls, panels, air vents, and overhead lockers in the cabin.

In addition, they wipe down lavatories, galleys, and crew rest areas, as well. These steps are in addition to standard procedures such as vacuuming and changing head rest covers on all seats.

The airline uses an approved chemical that kills viruses and germs. In addition, it leaves a long-lasting protective coating against new contamination of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Finally, the chemical is ecologically friendly.

It takes a team up to eight hours to complete a deep clean of an aircraft. Photo Credit: Emirates.

If the airline discovers that an aircraft has transported a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, Emirates will carry out a more thorough cleaning and disinfection  process that takes six to eight hours to complete.

This process includes the defogging of cabin interiors and misting with disinfectant across all soft furnishings. In addition, seat covers and cushions in the affected area are replaced. The aircraft’s HEPA cabin air filters will also be replaced.

All of Emirates’ aircraft are fitted with HEPA cabin air filters which are proven to filter out 99.97% of viruses. They also remove dust, allergens, and microbes from the air recirculated into the cabin and cockpit.

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