• Dean Nelson

Airlines aiding in passenger safety

Updated: May 25

Major airlines and travel partners continue to adapt to the changing environment to ensure passenger safety

Today (March 11, 2020) Air Canada released the following statement, similar to, many other air partners to help ease concerns and give consumers confidence in flying.

The airline industry has always been a fast‑changing one and these times are no different. It’s important that we be nimble and respond quickly and effectively to developments around the world while maintaining our commitment to serving you safely and reliably. Like all of you, we’ve been monitoring the evolving global impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID‑19) and are in constant dialogue with Canadian and international health authorities. At Air Canada our core value is Safety First, Always ‑ for our customers and for our employees. So I’d like to share what we have been doing in our operation to uphold that commitment.

At the airport: To promote a more hygienic airport experience, we have placed hand sanitizers in key areas such as check‑in counters, gates and lounges. We also have constant reminders about the importance of hand washing.

Before a flight: If a customer who appears unwell attempts to check‑in or board an aircraft, our agents will make inquiries of the customer in regard to their health. This can include consultation with our own Medical Desk and/or a third‑party health provider. If they are unfit to travel, they will not be permitted to board.

In the air: Our aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters which effectively capture 99.9% of particulate from recirculated air in the aircraft cabin. This includes microbial organisms such as bacteria and viruses. These filters are similar to those used in hospital rooms and like those in hospital rooms, they refresh the cabin air every 2 to 3 minutes.

After every flight: Coronaviruses are easily eliminated by routine surface cleaning and sanitization. Air Canada uses cleaning products, including hospital‑grade disinfectants which have a wide-spectrum microbial activity and are proven effective against human coronavirus.

Read more about Air Canada’s preventive measures.

In response to market demand and extensive quarantine decisions, we’ve temporarily suspended or reduced service to more impacted areas such as the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Italy. We will continue to adapt our schedule and route network as developments unfold. For those of you with upcoming travel, today we announced a flexible re‑booking policy for existing bookings by allowing a free one‑time change. We also want to give you more freedom to travel and book with confidence, which is why we’re waiving change fees on new bookings as well. Please see full details at www.aircanada.com.

For further reading and latest news, please visit:

Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

United Nations World Tourism Organization: https://www.unwto.org/news/unwto-who-a-joint-statement-on-tourism-and-covid-19

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