Flight Plan

Is it safe to fly?

| Updated on December 12, 2020

AirAsia India addresses pandemic queries

With the government allowing domestic airlines to operate up to 80 per cent of pre-Covid-19 flight capacity, BusinessLine asked AirAsia India about the safety measures that have been put in place. Excerpts from an interview with a spokesperson of the airline:

How safe is it to travel by air?

Air travel has been established as the safest and most hygienic form of long-distance transport, owing to strict regulatory checks, high compliance to protective measures and use of technology to offer contactless services. The measures that airports and airlines have deployed are not feasible for other transportation services to replicate easily.

What measures do airlines take to make air travel safe?

We have undertaken robust measures for the upkeep of hygiene levels. All our aircraft are equipped with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresters) aircraft filtration systems, which filter 99.9 per cent of particles and airborne contaminants such as viruses and bacteria. The constant downwash of air at 1m/sec mitigates the risk of cross-contamination even as the entire cabin air is refreshed every 2-3 minutes with the highest possible quality of air, offering a level of performance similar to those used to keep the air clean in hospital surgical operating rooms. We also provide a safety kit consisting of a face mask, sanitiser and face shield to our guests before boarding. Our aircraft go through regular disinfection procedures to control or kill infectious agents by using cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting products that are approved by the public health authority and aircraft manufacturers.

Have there been instances of passengers contracting the virus during a flight? If so, how many cases have been reported so far in the domestic sector?

No, we have not received any cases of guests contracting the virus on our flight. We actively monitor all flights as regulated by the authorities and encourage our guests to report to us in case they have tested positive, so we can follow due procedures and inform our other guests. Also, as per a research by IATA (global statistics — not specific to India alone), Covid-19 transmission is extremely rare onboard and there have been only 44 confirmed cases of Covid-19 associated with a flight in 2020. Over the same period, 1.2 billion passengers have travelled, equating to one case every 27 million travellers.

Do airlines compensate passengers in the event of anyone reporting positive?

In case the guests report positive and can’t travel, we honour their decision and reschedule their bookings at no extra cost.

Published on December 12, 2020

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