Emirates has resumed its flight operations to nine destinations at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, with safety procedures rolled out for passengers and crew members.
The airline has begun flying to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne, and will also offer connections in Dubai for customers travelling between the UK and Australia.
In a statement, Emirates said passengers will only be accepted on these flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. This includes an approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) for UAE residents who wish to return to Dubai.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer said: “We are pleased to resume scheduled passenger services to these destinations, providing more options for customers to travel from the UAE to these cities, and also between the UK and Australia. We are working closely with the authorities to plan the resumption of operations to additional destinations. We have implemented additional measures at the airport in coordination with the relevant authorities in respect to social distancing and sanitization. The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and communities, remain our top priority.”
Meanwhile, Emirates News Agency (WAM) also reported that Dubai Airports has announced that travelers are required to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPEs) and arrive to the airport four hours before their flight (but not more than four hours prior to flight time) to allow time for additional security measures. They should also be conscious of curfew timings and have tickets available for presentation if and as required by Dubai Police.
In order to maintain public safety and social distancing requirements, the statement said, travelers without confirmed tickets, without proper PPE, and who arrive to the airport earlier than four hours before their scheduled departure time will not be permitted to enter the terminal buildings.
Precautionary measures have been implemented throughout the airport to maintain the health and safety of our customers and staff. These measures include protective plexiglass at check-in and immigration counters, thermal and temperature screening, social distancing markers, and increased levels of sanitization in compliance with international standards set out by the relevant authorities.
Health and safety on Emirates
As for Emirates, some of the measures they have implemented to ensure the safety of passengers include physical distancing regulations, complimentary hygiene kits, requiring PPEs for the cabin crew, and aircraft disinfection, among others.
Emirates has introduced complimentary hygiene kits to be given to every passenger upon check in at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai. These kits comprise masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer. The hygiene kits supplement a slew of additional measures already introduced to keep customers safe.
Gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees at the airport in Dubai, while only masks are mandated on Emirates flights. On arrival at the airport, thermal scanners at various areas monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travellers maintain the necessary distance at check-in, immigration, boarding and transfer areas.
The airport team has also installed protective barriers at each check-in desk and immigration counter to provide additional safety reassurance to passengers and employees during interaction over the counter.
Customers travelling through Dubai International Airport and transferring onto another flight will go through thermal screening upon disembarkation. Transfer desks at the airport have also been installed with protective barriers as a precautionary measure. Airport staff, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) will direct customers from a safe distance for extra assistance. Customers will be given an additional hygiene kit at the gate before boarding their connecting flight.
The boarding sequence has been staggered and passengers board by row, from the last row to the first, in small numbers. The waiting area has also been modified to ensure all customers observe social distancing. Emirates boarding agents, dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE), will facilitate the boarding sequence. The boarding gates are deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight.
All cabin crew on board will be fully kitted out in PPEs. To uphold the highest standards of safety and hygiene, Emirates has added a cabin service assistant (CSA) to the crew complement on flights over 1.5 hours. The CSAs will ensure lavatories are cleaned at frequent intervals of every 45 mins. Each lavatory has been equipped with sanitizing soap and hand washing instructions.
To minimize the risk of infection by touch, magazines and print reading material will not be available during this time. In premium classes, single use menus and wine lists will be provided to passengers. Comfort items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, headphones and toys will be hygienically sealed. Emirates will resume its service with hot meals, using high quality, cutlery and crockery, sterilized before each use.
Cabin baggage have to be checked-in, and customers can only bring essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board. Customers are reminded to bring pens to fill out Health Declaration Forms required for some destinations.
Emirates’ modern aircraft cabins have been fitted with advanced HEPA air filters which remove 99.97% of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens and germs from cabin air for a healthier and safer on-board environment. After its journey and on landing in Dubai, each aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes to ensure safety and proper sanitation.
To safeguard its employees, Emirates’ flight and cabin crew are provided with cars for pick up and drop off at their home at the beginning and end of their duty. Operating crew check in for their rostered flights in a dedicated crew airport facility before being transported to the aircraft. Layovers in destination cities have been reduced where possible and on long-haul flights, where layovers are necessary, crew are put up in individual rooms in hotels. On return to Dubai, where all Emirates cabin crew are based, COVID-19 tests are done on all crew. Every crew member has been mandated a 14-day quarantine in their homes after every flight, unless they are on duty.