From 12 June, Qantas and Jetstar will roll out a series of wellbeing improvements to restore passenger confidence in preparation for domestic travel restrictions easing.
The ‘Fly Well’ program brings together a number of temporary measures already in use by the Qantas Group and represents a combination of best-practice medical advice and feedback from customers.
On board, masks will be provided to all passengers on each flight. Sanitising wipes will also be given to all passengers to wipe down seat belts, trays and armrests themselves, if preferred.
Qantas has already enhanced cleaning of aircraft with a disinfectant effective against Coronaviruses, with a focus on high contact areas – seats, seatbelts, overhead lockers, air vents and toilets. It has also introduced a simplified service and catering to minimise touchpoints for crew and passengers.
Passengers will be asked to limit movement around cabin, once seated, and sequenced boarding and disembarkation to minimise crowding will be introduced.
All airline employees are required to follow strict personal hygiene protocols, for the benefit of themselves and others.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce (pictured) said: “We’re relying on the cooperation of passengers to help make these changes work for everyone’s benefit, and we thank them in advance for that. Given the great job Australians have done at flattening the curve, we’re confident they’ll respond positively to these temporary changes to how we fly.
“We’ll continue to work with government and monitor the roll-out of these measures closely, which are designed with safety in mind and help people feel comfortable given the new norms that have emerged in response to the Coronavirus crisis,” added Joyce.
Qantas Group Medical Director, Dr Ian Hosegood, said: “The data shows that actual risk of catching Coronavirus on an aircraft is already extremely low. That’s due to a combination of factors, including the cabin air filtration system, the fact people don’t sit face-to-face and the high backs of aircraft seats acting as a physical barrier. As far as the virus goes, an aircraft cabin is a very different environment to other forms of public transport.”
“Social distancing on an aircraft isn’t practical the way it is on the ground, and given the low transmission risk on board, we don’t believe it’s necessary in order to be safe. The extra measures we’re putting place will reduce the risk even further,” added Dr Hosegood.
The Fly Well program will be reviewed after its first month of operation and shaped by customer feedback and medical advice.