Some travellers may feel anxious about boarding a flight and crossing borders during the current outbreak of COVID-19. But the aviation industry has sprung to action and for those flying Cathay Pacific, there are many reasons to be reassured – 10, to be precise.
As the COVID-19 outbreak has spread, the Cathay Pacific Group has continued to assess and enhance its safety and health protocols throughout every step of the journey. That includes thorough cabin disinfections and temperature checks for arrival, departure and transit passengers in Hong Kong. We’ve got the details below.
1. Reduced flights to the Chinese mainland
We have suspended all Wuhan flights until 31 March, and have also reduced our flights to the Chinese mainland by approximately 90 per cent.
2. Thorough cabin disinfection & deep cleaning
Our cleaning and disinfecting protocol includes the strict disinfection of surfaces and fixtures with products recommended by IATA and WHO. This includes personal television screens, meal tables, baby bassinet tables and armrests across every aircraft after every flight.
3. Increased temperature checks at Arrivals & Departures
All arriving, departing and transiting passengers will have their temperatures checked at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), including SkyPier.
4. Hand sanitiser readily available
Hand sanitisers are placed at multiple areas in and around the airport, including check-in counters, immigration, security checkpoints, boarding gates and in our lounges in Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong.
5. Inflight health update broadcasts
On all flights arriving into Hong Kong, we announce updates about the current situation and necessary actions required.
6. Compulsory health declarations
We require passengers to answer health screening questions upon check-in at worldwide airports including Hong Kong. A health declaration form must be completed and submitted prior to departure for some destinations. Any cases considered to be a risk are immediately referred to relevant authorities.
7. HEPA air filters
Our High Efficiency Particulate Arrester (HEPA) aircraft filtration systems filter 99.999 per cent of dust particles and airborne contaminants like viruses and bacteria, ensuring the highest possible quality of cabin air. It offers a similar level of performance to those used in hospital operating rooms.
8. Catering safeguards
We adhere to the strictest food preparation and storage procedures to ensure the safety standards set by Hong Kong and international regulatory authorities.
9. Additional precautions in our lounges
In our airport lounges in Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong, we’ve increased the cleaning of high-use areas such as bathrooms and lifts, and modified our food offering to further reduce risk, including replacing the buffet with single-serve prepared meals.
10. Modified inflight services
On all flights, we have temporarily modified our meal services, including suspending trolley services in First and Business class, and are providing a disposable snack bag in Premium Economy and Economy. We have also temporarily suspended inflight duty-free sales and amenities such as hot towels, pillows and blankets.
Cathay Pacific are continuously monitoring and updating their safety measures in response to the current situation. Visit their coronavirus (COVID-19) information centre for the latest updates and more information about the precautionary measures they’re taking
This story was originally published in February 2020 and updated in October 2020