Global airline alliance SkyTeam has announced new hygiene protocols under the name SkyCare&Protect.
This new alliance-wide pledge sees all 19 airline partners support a series of personal safety measures to help protect passengers and airline employees when they travel on or between members.
Announcing the pledge, Walter Cho, chairperson of SkyTeam said: “Twenty years ago today, SkyTeam was founded with the promise to care more about our customers.
“Although the world and our industry have drastically changed in the last six months, initiatives such as SkyCare&Protect are a shining example of the alliance’s commitment to look after customers when they travel across SkyTeam’s network.”
SkyCare&Protect brings together safety and hygiene practices from each member airline and recommendations from health and industry authorities.
This includes the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Centres for Disease Prevention & Control (CDC).
Kristin Colvile, chief executive of SkyTeam, said: “As we mark two decades since SkyTeam was established, we want our customers to know that SkyTeam and its member airlines have always made the personal safety of every passenger our number one priority.
“SkyCare&Protect enhances the entire customer journey in light of the Covid-19 pandemic but these measures will evolve, with health, safety, and security continuing to form part of the foundations of SkyTeam.”
SkyCare&Protect currently consists of 15 measures, based on five layers of protection that enhance personal safety at every step of the journey.
Ready to fly, as a technology-driven alliance, members are committed to creating a more touchless journey.
All airlines provide passengers the ability to check-in digitally for their flights.
This limits contact with airport staff and reduces the need to touch surfaces such as kiosks.
Certain members and airports are offering additional contactless services including self-baggage drop and boarding.
Cleaned, members have committed to multiple measures to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness.
This includes increased cleaning of high-touch areas both at the airport and onboard, while aircraft are being intensively disinfected more frequently.
On request, cleaning wipes are available if customers wish to further clean their space.
Additionally, the majority of modern aircraft operating in SkyTeam members’ fleets are equipped with hospital-grade high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
These filters trap more than 99.95 per cent of particles including bacteria and viruses, allowing fresh air to be circulated in the cabin every three minutes on average.
Protected, within members’ hub airports, various measures have been implemented in line with local regulations, including floor markings, controlled queuing, and signage to help facilitate proper spacing.
Hygiene stations with hand sanitisers are available and the use of face coverings by airport staff and/or clear screens placed between customers and staff offer greater protection.
To further create a safer space for all travellers and employees on board, members currently require the use of face coverings for cabin crew and passengers.
Screened, some members may conduct passenger health checks, in line with local regulatory and governmental requirements.
This could include temperature checks using thermal imaging cameras or hand-held thermometers at various points in the journey.
Customers may also be asked questions regarding their health during the check-in procedure or for some destinations they may require a health certificate.
Informed, to allow passengers to make educated decisions about their travel plans, members will regularly update travel information on their websites.
This includes providing an overview of the measures that have been put in place to safeguard the wellbeing of travellers.