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Airlines to ensure PPE to crew, cleaning of aircraft ahead of resuming operations

Except for GoAir, all other Indian airlines have opened bookings for their domestic flights that will start operating from May 25

twitter-logoPTI | May 22, 2020 | Updated 20:04 IST
Airlines to ensure PPE to crew, cleaning of aircraft ahead of resuming operations
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From providing protective gear like face shields and gowns to cabin crew to the deep cleaning of aircraft every 24 hours, airlines are taking various measures as they plan to restart curtailed domestic operations from Monday onwards amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Full-service carrier Vistara on Friday said it will operate a "reduced network" for the next few weeks connecting 24 cities across the country.

All employees will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, including cabin crew that will wear protective gowns, masks and face shields, it said.

Also read: Domestic flights to resume on Monday: What to keep in mind when you go to airport?

"The airline will also ensure disinfectant cleaning of all aircraft at the turn-around of every single flight and deep cleaning of all aircraft every 24 hours with approved disinfectant cleaners," Vistara said in a statement.

Except for GoAir, all other Indian airlines have opened bookings for their domestic flights that will start operating from May 25.

GoAir has opened bookings on domestic flights from June 1 onwards.

AirAsia India said pilots will have access to an ample amount of PPE like masks and sanitisers to upkeep their safety and hygiene.

"Our well trained (cabin) crew will be operating with adequate PPE, including masks, face shields, protective gowns and gloves and have been trained to assist with and manage medical situations in-flight," AirAsia India said in a statement.

The budget carrier will also be providing each passenger with a safety kit consisting of a mask, face shield and sanitizer at the boarding gate for use during the entire flight duration.

AirAsia India said it will follow a reverse zone boarding process starting from the rear of the aircraft.

Earlier this week, the Modi government had announced that scheduled domestic commercial passenger flights will resume in a calibrated manner from May 25 onwards.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended from March 25, when the government imposed lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

In a statement, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta on Friday said all common surfaces such as baggage drop counters, boarding gates, coaches, ramps, wheelchairs, crew vehicles will be thoroughly disinfected using "approved cleaning agents".

"We will disinfect the aircraft before every flight. In addition, we will also follow a periodic fumigation of the aircraft," he noted.

IndiGo will deep clean its aircraft every night.

Also read: Domestic flights to resume: No over-the-counter check-in; only web check-in allowed

He said ground staff and crew members will be wearing PPE appropriate for their roles.

IndiGo's cabin crew members would be wearing PPE like masks, gloves, face shields and gowns.

IndiGo, India's largest airline, will serve water on demand and hand over safety kits to passengers at the boarding gate.

The passenger kit provided by IndiGo would consist of sanitisers and surgical masks.

Dutta said each passenger will have to fill an online health declaration form during the compulsory web check-in process.

IndiGo and Vistara said passengers must do web check-in of their baggage too and print the tag to affix it on that baggage.

SpiceJet said it will connect 41 domestic destinations operating an average 204 daily flights initially. It said it will operate flights on all routes that were won under the government's regional connectivity scheme UDAN.

It said its cleaning procedure includes thorough wipe down using an "effective, high-grade, Boeing-approved disinfectant" across aircraft interiors, including the places customers touch the most like tray tables and armrests.

Also read: Domestic flights rules: Staying in a containment zone? You're not allowed to fly

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