The airline said the program reinforces its pledge to protect the health and safety of its customers and staff.
It includes the steps the airline is taking to maintain customer and staff wellbeing through-out the service chain beginning from the first interaction with customers during ticketing/reservation and up to arrival at destination, according to Ethiopian.
Tewolde GebereMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian, noted that “Ethiopian is proud to be there when the world needed it most – repatriating citizens, reuniting families, facilitating essential travel and transporting much needed medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health professionals and the general public under very difficult and challenging circumstances.
We are proud to be an integral part of the fight against COVID-19.
Now we want to play a leading role in the new normal. To a very large extent, it’s about getting back the confidence of business and leisure travellers.
With the protective measures we are taking in line with CDC, IATA, ICAO and WHO guidelines, customers and staff can rest assured that their safety and health are well looked after when flying with us”.
Customers are advised to check travel restrictions of destination countries prior to arriving at the airport for a flight. Facemasks will be mandatory for travel. Except for children under the age 2, all customers must keep their masks on throughout their journey.
All customer-facing staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). This includes ticket offices, airport and lounge staff, as well as cabin crew. Onboard service is redesigned to minimize contact while maintaining our African flavored Ethiopian hospitality. Items, such as magazines, menus and other reading materials, that were traditionally shared will no longer be available.
Summary of measures that the airlines assure its customers’ wellbeing are as follows:
- Passengers holding tickets purchased before August 31, 2020, and valid for travel until September 30, 2020, can rest assured that their tickets will be valid until 31 December 2021. Passengers who have exchanged their tickets for vouchers can utilize the vouchers within one year.
- Physical distancing will be practiced at all Ethiopian sales offices.
- Passengers are kindly requested to satisfy destination entry requirements such as health certificates and fill health declaration forms if required.
- Unwell passengers will not be allowed to enter the airport and will be denied boarding a flight.
- All Ethiopian aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to departing from the hub, and at turnaround stations.
At the Airport:
- Enhanced health screenings including temperature checks will be conducted.
- To ensure adequate social distancing, markings are placed through-out the terminal building and hand sanitizers will be available for use.
- Passengers must check-in their cabin baggage. They’re allowed to bring onboard only essential items such as laptops, handbags, briefcases, and baby items.
- All checked-in bags will be sanitized before being loaded onto the aircraft.
- To reduce contact between customers, boarding will be done in an orderly manner by seat rows starting from the back of the aircraft towards the front.
- In business class, complimentary hygiene kits that include masks, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer will be provided.
- In economy masks, hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes will be available on demand.
- “Comfort items” such as pillows, blankets, headphones, and toys are hygienically sealed.
- Onboard Lavatories will be sanitized frequently during the flight.
- We have changed our meal service to minimize contact. But the African flavored Ethiopian hospitality you’re accustomed to will continue to be evident throughout. Cutlery is sterilized before each use.
- Menu’s, Magazines and newspapers will not be available onboard.
- Crew are trained to handle flight operations in a COVID-19 travel world.
The airlines said, as countries continue to open their borders and relax travel restrictions, it is ready to increase frequencies to accommodate the demand by focusing on the wellbeing of customers and staff.