Qantas and Jetstar will roll out a series of wellbeing improvements to give peace-of-mind in preparation for domestic travel restrictions easing.
The ‘Fly Well’ program brings together a number of temporary measures already in use by the Qantas Group, including on repatriation flights from virus hot-spots, and represents a combination of best-practice medical advice and feedback from customers.
Rolling out from 12 June, the key measures at each point of the journey will be:
In addition, the air conditioning systems of all Qantas and Jetstar aircraft are already fitted with hospital-grade HEPA filters, which remove 99.9% of all particles including viruses. Air inside the cabin is refreshed on average every five minutes during flight.
All airline employees are required to follow strict personal hygiene protocols, for the benefit of themselves and others.
All passengers are encouraged to download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app as part of improving the ability of health authorities to contain the spread of Coronavirus. In-line with public health advice, anyone with cold and flu like symptoms should stay at home.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “Safety is absolutely core to how we operate and that applies to new challenges like managing the risk of coronavirus so people can fly with confidence.
“From the early rescue flights we operated right into Wuhan and then more recently bringing Australians back from places like the US and Europe, we have a lot of experience at creating a safe cabin environment for passengers and crew.
“We’re relying on the cooperation of passengers to help make these changes work for everyone’s benefit, and we thank them in advance for that. Given the great job Australians have done at flattening the curve, we’re confident they’ll respond positively to these temporary changes to how we fly.
“We’ll continue to work with government and monitor the rollout of these measures closely, which are designed with safety in mind and help people feel comfortable given the new norms that have emerged in response to the Coronavirus crisis,” added Mr Joyce.
Qantas Group Medical Director, Dr Ian Hosegood, said: “The data shows that actual risk of catching Coronavirus on an aircraft is already extremely low. That’s due to a combination of factors, including the cabin air filtration system, the fact people don’t sit face-to-face and the high backs of aircraft seats acting as a physical barrier. As far as the virus goes, an aircraft cabin is a very different environment to other forms of public transport.”
“Social distancing on an aircraft isn’t practical the way it is on the ground, and given the low transmission risk on board, we don’t believe it’s necessary in order to be safe. The extra measures we’re putting place will reduce the risk even further,” added Dr Hosegood.
The Fly Well program will be reviewed after its first month of operation and shaped by customer feedback and medical advice.
IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY FOR CUSTOMERS
Customer research shows 98 per cent of frequent flyers are planning their next trip once restrictions lift. To help improve flexibility as travel restrictions are steadily adjusted, Qantas and Jetstar are introducing more flexibility from today.
If a flight is cancelled by us, customers will be rebooked on the next available flight at no additional cost. Alternatively, customers can choose a flight credit or a refund.
Fact sheet available here.
Images and video available here.