Luxaviation Group implements FlySkills hygiene and safety standards

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Luxaviation Group has begun implementing the hygiene and safety standards recently developed by FlySkills together with Socotec.

The FlySkills Hygiene Certification (FHC) Program is available to all FBOs, aircraft operators and owners enabling them to demonstrate that defined and accredited hygiene standards have been implemented and are both followed and subject to regular compliance auditing.

FlySkills, an independently working Luxaviation Group company, is supervising the adoption of these standards with Luxaviation Group operators and ExecuJet FBOs the launch customers.

The procedures validated by Socotec allow any participating FBO, operator or aircraft owner to be listed in the FlySkills’ certification database. This listing will be made available to charter brokers and dispatch departments and related B2C and B2B platforms, enabling them to choose suppliers at any location that meet the hygiene protocols their customers are demanding. FlySkills accredited organisations are certified to minimise the risk of exposure of their aircraft owners and charter customers to COVID-19 and other such communicable diseases.

 

Molon Labe unveils latest version of Stagger Seat

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Molon Labe Seating has introduced a version of its S2 Economy Class “Stagger Seat” that addresses both physical and respiratory protection.

This design aims to improve the safety of passengers in the Post-COVID-19 world while addressing the travel experience to offer more space, adjustable barriers, and optional direct cabin air venting to a passenger’s face.

The unique attributes of this design include:

  • A large rotating, one-sided headrest that acts as a physical barrier between passengers, rotating 180 degrees to offer options for passengers traveling with friends and family.
  • Staggered layout to increase lateral space whilst reducing contact points between passengers.
  • Staggered armrests to further reduce contact points between passengers.
  • Patented design that optionally vents fresh cabin air from the seat’s headrest directly towards the passenger’s face with controllable flow rates and direction similar to overhead cabin vents.
  • Option for cellphone (Bluetooth) controlled in-flight entertainment system.

Molon Labe expects this design will address the long-term concerns that have developed as a result of the global pandemic and plans to complete the design by the end of 2020. “Our aim is to look at a long-term solution by making these post-COVID specific changes to our S2 design addressing both passenger comfort and confidence,” said Hank Scott, CEO, Molon Labe Designs.

Etihad Airways launches intelligent COVID-19 self-assessment tool

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Etihad Airways has partnered with Austrian-based healthcare technology company Medicus AI to launch a COVID-19 risk-assessment tool that will guide Etihad’s passengers in evaluating the probability of having contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus by responding to a set of 22 questions.

The self-administered assessment, which takes less than five minutes to complete, is based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines that are updated daily.

Frank Meyer, Chief Digital Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “We know that health and wellbeing will be a major factor impacting the travel decisions of our guests and are committed to ensuring their continued safety and peace of mind when they choose to travel with Etihad Airways. As flying operations begin to resume globally, we want to empower our guests to make informed decisions on travel. Partnering with Medicus AI on this innovative new tool is just one of the ways we are adapting our operations and guest experience to meet the new demands placed on the travel industry as a result of COVID-19.”

Dr. Baher Al Hakim, Chief Executive Officer, Medicus AI, said: “We are proud to support Etihad Airways in their efforts to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew as the world returns to normalcy. Our initial efforts at the start of the pandemic were to help provide assessment and monitoring tools, and as needs shift, our efforts have evolved to help our partners bring people back to their day-to-day life in a safe manner.”

The tool is now available to guests on Etihad.com and soon on the Etihad Airways mobile application on the Apple iOS, Android and Huawei platforms, and will be accessible in English, with additional language editions such as Arabic, French, German and Portuguese being added in phases.

New products target virus spread

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Aeroexecutives.com has launched a series of sanitising products offer passengers and crew greater protection against viruses and bacteria.

The product range includes a sanitising patch that can either be fixed to a smart phone, worn on a lanyard around the neck or the clip version can be attached to bags and clothing.

The patch delivers a controlled release of Caolion EcoBio, which is safe and approved by the World Health Organisation, FDA, EPA, EU, NASA, and the Korean Ministry of the Environment. Once the patch is activated it eliminates viruses, moulds and bacteria is effective for up to 28 days and longer, it is claimed while unactivated patches have a shelf life of up to 12 months. The patches can offer protection to the wearer within a radius of up to a metre.

According to Peter Bradfield of Aeroexecutives.com, “It is almost impossible to maintain social distancing with the confines of an airport and aircraft cabin, particularly during boarding and disembarking. The sanitising patches offer an increased level of protection and enhance the safety of passengers in an easy, convenient effective format. This range of luxury hand sanitisers and masks can help raise protection levels to the highest standards.”

US airlines to enforce wearing of face coverings

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Member carriers of Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organisation representing the leading US airlines, are to “vigorously” enforce face covering policies, putting rigor around rules requiring passengers and customer-facing employees to wear facial coverings over their nose and mouth.

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines will be implementing the following policy updates regarding face coverings:

  • Preflight Communications: Each airline will clearly articulate its individual face covering policy in communications with customers, which may require passengers to acknowledge the specific rules during the check-in process.
  • Onboard Announcements: Onboard the aircraft, crew members will announce specific details regarding the carrier’s face covering policy including the consequences passengers could face for violating the policy.
  • Consequences for Noncompliance: Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline.

“US airlines are very serious about requiring face coverings on their flights. Carriers are stepping up enforcement of face coverings and implementing substantial consequences for those who do not comply with the rules,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Face coverings are one of several public health measures recommended by the CDC as an important layer of protection for passengers and customer-facing employees.”

The measures are expected to remain in place throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis.

All passengers are required to wear a face covering throughout the travel journey on the leading US airlines, as clearly stated on each airline’s website.

Recent posts on social media have highlighted instances of passengers not adhering to respective airline policies. In one instance that has since gone viral, a passenger was removed from an American Airways flight for refusing to comply with the face covering protocol.

Norwegian restarts Gatwick flights with enhanced onboard safety measures

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Norwegian is restarting short haul flights from the UK as it expands its wider European network.

Since April Norwegian has only operated eight aircraft on domestic routes in Norway. Now another 12 aircraft will re-join the fleet and be put into operation across Scandinavia.

New protective safety measures have been introduced to further reduce the risk of infection.

This includes:

  • Travellers that are six years and older must use a facemask.
  • Passengers will be asked to keep their distance during boarding and deboarding.
  • Hand luggage should be placed under the seat in front to minimise queuing in the cabin. Hand luggage that is too big to be placed under the seat in front needs to be checked in beforehand.
  • Passengers will be seated with as much distance between them as possible. The mid row seats will be the last to be occupied. Passengers and families travelling together will be seated together.
  • There is no catering on board to minimise the contact between customers and crew.
  • Aircraft are thoroughly disinfected according to strict guidelines and have placed extra focus on contact points on board. This reduces the risk for both passengers and cabin crew.
  • All aircraft are fitted with an advanced HEPA air filtration system that removes bacteria and viruses in the air.

SIA introduces #SIAcares

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Based on the advice of medical experts, regulators and partners, as well as feedback from its customers, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has introduced a range of health and safety initiatives, and enhanced several existing measures, in recent weeks as part of a comprehensive review of the end-to-end customer journey.

Information on the health and safety measures during the pre-flight stage, at the airport, on board the aircraft, and upon arrival is available in a new online  e-brochure, which will be sent to all customers before their flights.

These measures are part of the Company’s new #SIAcares initiative, which includes corporate social responsibility projects that will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

SIA has stepped up the cleaning procedures at all premises, including its SilverKris Lounges. Customers can enjoy a la carte meals instead of a buffet service at our lounges, where SIA staff wear masks all the time and gloves when necessary.

Every SIA Group aircraft undergoes an enhanced cleaning process before a flight. This includes aircraft fogging procedures that follow regulatory requirements. Common surfaces and areas such as windows, tray tables, handsets, in-flight entertainment screens, lavatories and galleys are wiped down with an approved strong disinfectant. Headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bedsheets, and blankets are also washed and replaced after every flight.

Ceiling-to-floor air flow patterns within the cabin help to limit the spread of viruses and bacteria. The air is also refreshed every two to three minutes. Every aircraft in the Group’s fleet is equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which remove more than 99.9% of particles including airborne viruses and bacteria.

Almost all lavatories in SIA aircraft feature contactless faucets and have anti-bacterial hand wash. SIA is also looking at a trial of an ultra-violet (UVC) light cleaning procedure on the ground for its lavatories before every flight.

From 8 June, all airlines in the SIA Group will provide their customers with a Care Kit that includes a surgical mask, anti-bacterial hand wipes and a hand sanitiser.

Crew will wear face masks throughout the flight, with the additions of eye goggles when interacting with customers and gloves during the meal service.

The airline has modified its in-flight food and beverage service to reduce the risk of contact for both our customers and crew members. Meals services have been suspended for flights within South East Asia and services to Mainland China due to regulatory reasons. Snack bags are provided to customers instead.

On long-haul flights, a single tray service has been introduced in First Class and Business Class in place of a table layout service. To boost the in-flight dining experience during this period, SIA is progressively reintroducing customer favourites such as the Airline’s signature satay and garlic bread from mid-June 2020. The airline says it will also discuss with the regulators how it can resume a course-by-course dining experience.

Digital food ordering services in the lounges and an in-flight e-menu will be introduced in the coming months.

The SingaporeAir mobile app is also being enhanced to provide customers with more information about the travel and health restrictions across its network. This will be personalised according to their booking.

The Company is working on a Print-n-Go solution, which would allow customers to print their boarding passes and baggage tags at airport self-service kiosks in a contactless way via the SingaporeAir Mobile App or a QR code.

HAECO Cabin Solutions launches lavatory upgrades for hands-free operation

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HAECO Cabin Solutions has launched three devices to upgrade aircraft lavatories to hands-free operation.

The pre-certified devices include an electric foot-controlled switch for flushing toilets; an infrared sensor-based waste basket lid for disposal of toilet waste, and a refillable hand sanitiser dispenser, eliminating the need for disposable sanitising wipes and paper towels. The dispenser may also be used in other areas of aircraft interiors.

HAECO Cabin Solutions is offering these upgrades individually, to allow airlines to choose the device or devices that would provide them the greatest value.

Doug Rasmussen, President and Group Director of HAECO Cabin Solutions, said: “In our current environment and expectations for the future, passengers would greatly benefit from these enhancements to on-board sanitation. These devices are already familiar to consumers, and we can certify their use in aircraft for integration into the aircraft cabin.

Tests show neutralisation properties of Global Plasma Solutions technology

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In tests jointly conducted with Aviation Clean Air, Global Plasma Solutions has demonstrated the effectiveness of its proprietary needlepoint bipolar ionisation technology to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) on surfaces.

In the laboratory study, Aviation Clean Air designed a test to mimic ionisation conditions such as those of a commercial aircraft’s fuselage. Based on viral titrations, it was determined that at 10 minutes, 84.2% of the virus was inactivated. At 15 minutes, 92.6% of the virus was inactivated, and at 30 minutes, 99.4% of the virus was inactivated.

Needlepoint bipolar ionisation leverages an electronic charge to create a high concentration of positive and negative ions. These ions travel through the air continuously seeking out and attaching to particles. This sets in motion a continuous pattern of particle combination. As these particles become larger, they are eliminated from the air more rapidly.

Additionally, positive, and negative ions have microbicidal effects on pathogens, ultimately reducing the infectivity of the virus. Global Plasma Solutions’ needlepoint bipolar ionisation is ozone-free and the only kind in its category to pass the RCTA DO-160 standard for aircraft.

Traditional bipolar ionisation systems produce harmful ozone as a byproduct.

Newrest readies to resume catering operations

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Multi-sector catering company Newrest is to resume in-flight catering services following the strengthening of sanitary standards to protect its employees, customers and consumers throughout the network.

The company has bolstered the existing rules on food safety, personal hygiene and medical control of its staff, in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus responsible for COVID-19 or any other virus.

Measures include the introduction and use of thermographic cameras as part of hygiene and health screening of employees, subcontractors, suppliers, and anyone entering the facility; COVID-19 training for all staff; the reorganisation of workstations for physical distance; mandatory use of protective face masks; increased frequency of staff medical visits per year, and the adaption of cleaning and sanitisation measures as necessary including the vehicles fleet.