Airlines Beef Up Cleaning Protocols
- Indian booking platform Yatra says it is seeing a slow return of air travel in the country, although capacity remains between 15% to 20% of pre-pandemic levels. Much like in the rest of the world, leisure bookings are leading the way. Yatra does not expect corporate demand for domestic travel to return to pre-pandemic levels until the middle of next year. Corporate demand for international travel is expected to take longer, and Yatra said it cannot predict when it may recover. Much depends on countries lifting travel restrictions, the company’s CEO said.
- United will now require passengers to complete a health self-assessment at check-in. The “Ready to Fly” checklist will be required of all passengers checking in at the airport, online, or via the carrier’s mobile app. It includes asking passengers if they have had Covid-19 symptoms or have been diagnosed with the disease. The carrier also is requiring passengers to wear face coverings inflight, and the checklist will ask if they are willing to accept that rule.
- Delta is creating a Global Cleanliness division as part of its Customer Experience group to oversee its cleaning protocols. The new group will develop new cleaning methods and will work to ensure that aircraft and passenger touchpoints remain sanitized. The move shows that Delta is taking cleanliness as seriously as it does on-time performance and other customer-experience issues, the airline said. The new division will be led by Mike Madeiros, who previously was vice president of airport operations.
- Singapore Airlines is the latest to announce the steps it’s taking to ensure aircraft and passenger touchpoint sanitation. The carrier is fogging aircraft before every flight with disinfectant and wiping down seats, armrests, tray tables, and IFE screens. The carrier also is studying UV-light disinfection as an option for aircraft before flight. Food and beverage service onboard remains limited, and lounge buffets have been removed. All passengers are given a sanitation amenity kit, which includes hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, and a surgical mask, before boarding. Cabin crew are required to wear masks and gloves and to don eye goggles during meal service.
Meanwhile, Gogo and Delta Rethink Relationship
- Gogo and Delta have changed the terms of their inflight connectivity deal. The carrier is shortening its contracts with the provider, bringing forward the expiration dates to between Nov. 1 and June 2022. The original agreement was to run through 2027. The move is part of Delta’s push to provide free inflight Wi-Fi, Bloomberg reports. Delta says the new agreements give it flexibility to “reimagine” its inflight connectivity offerings.