Fiji Airways’ Actions In Response To COVID-19 Outbreak

Safety and security of guests and staff is paramount for Fiji Airways. Here are a list of actions the airline is taking, to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus, throughout our operations.
13 Mar 2020 10:00
Fiji Airways’ Actions In Response To COVID-19 Outbreak

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Fiji Airways has taken a number of steps to protect guests and staff.

These include measures through enhanced onboard cleaning processes, providing necessary personal protection equipment for staff, and making face-masks and hand sanitisers available on board. Screening processes and onboard procedures for crew have been upgraded in light of the spread of COVID-19 cases.

Safety and security of guests and staff is paramount for Fiji Airways. Here are a list of actions the airline is taking, to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus, throughout our operations.

Screening prior to boarding

Guests will be encouraged to use hand sanitisers available at check-in and at the boarding gate (or aircraft door).

Flights from Hong Kong, Narita and Singapore have these additional measures:

A Special Health Declaration Form that guests are required to answer prior to check in, to confirm their recent travel history

100 per cent temperature scanning conducted for all passengers at these ports before boarding

Fiji Airways is unable to accept any passengers who do not meet the entry requirements (as published in TIMATIC at the time of departure or various state websites) for Fiji or any other country which is the passenger’s port of final disembarkation.

This includes requiring guests to produce medical certificate stating they are fit for travel, as mandated by some states.

Guests are requested to familiarise themselves with the relevant travel/entry restrictions and requirements of their destinations before embarking on their trip, to avoid disappointment at the airport. These restrictions by countries may change or be updated at short notice, and are beyond the control of the airline.

Guests denied uplift due to these travel restrictions are able to defer travel dates, or retain credit for future use (conditions apply). Governments, including the Fijian Government, have introduced additional screening measures, temperature checks, and Health and Travel Declarations forms for all arriving passengers. These are state requirements that all guests must comply with prior to or upon arrival.

Onboard cleaning and safety

The air in our cabins on all jet aircraft is filtered and recirculated through extremely efficient HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestors) filters.

On average, the in-cabin air is completely changed every 3 minutes. This is a much higher rate of flow than people experience in other indoor environments.

Aircraft cleaning has been enhanced to ensure all arriving and departing aircraft are sanitised. Fiji Airways has enhanced its existing 23-point checklist for onboard cleaning using industry-grade disinfecting agents before every international flight.

All cleaning teams are required to use specifically approved disinfectants that are effective against a broad spectrum of gram negative and positive organisms.

This disinfectant is also effective against a number of viruses and follows the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for disinfection of Commercial Passenger Aircraft.

Onboard surfaces being sanitised include seats, seat armrests, tray tables, bathrooms and galleys, overhead lockers, windows, carts and handles, inflight entertainment screens and remotes, and seat belts.

All cabin crew on flights to/from Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo wear gloves and face-masks. Face-masks are also made available to guests on all flights.

Onboard announcements have been updated and reinforced, reminding guests to declare travel history and any flu-like symptoms to crew and health officials. Onboard isolation measures have also been reinforced to the crew, for guests who are deemed ‘at-risk’. Starting shortly, every Fiji Airways and Fiji Link aircraft will undergo an even deeper sanitisation process through ‘fogging’ once a week.

Capacity reductions

Fiji Airways has cut capacity significantly and adjusted some schedules due to the lower demand and travel restrictions now in place in a number of countries on the airline’s network.

Flights between Hong Kong and Nadi have been reduced by nearly 60 per cent through to May

Flights between Nadi and Apia have also been reduced by 40 per cent, due to a Samoan Government directive.

Direct flights between Nadi and Vava’u may be suspended given possible restrictions being considered by the Tongan Government

Direct services between Suva-Auckland, and Suva-Sydney will be temporarily paused, and customers will be re-booked to travel via Nadi.

The airline will also permanently cease direct Suva-Port Vila flights, with affected customers re-booked via Nadi.

Other reductions in flights are expected to most of Fiji Airways international network.

The airline will continue to monitor demand across its network and may further reduce or restore flights as and when required.

Important notice for guests impacted by cancellations and re-bookings: All guests booked directly with Fiji Airways with a valid email address will receive a schedule change notification. Guests booked through travel agents and third parties will be contacted by their respective agencies.

Changes to airport and onboard services

In addition to enhanced onboard cleaning services, Fiji Airways will implement a series of preventative measures in the coming days. These include the following actions:

All ground personnel in customer facing roles to wear protective gloves

Providing sanitisers at both the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge

All magazines and newspapers apart from the airline’s own inflight (FijiTime) magazine and duty free catalogue (Lomalagi) will be removed from the aircraft. FijiTime and Lomalagi will be offered on request, and guests will be asked to take used magazines off the aircraft with them. Newspaper service will be maintained on Fiji Link’s domestic flights.

The Business Class amenity kit will also be offered on request

The turndown service offered in business class (which includes a mattress topper) for long haul flights will be temporarily suspended

Whilst there is no change to onboard menus, Fiji Airways will replace its Economy Class meal tray service with its ‘Food for Thought’ packaging of meals from April 15th 2020. This was a planned introduction for the airline but as a result of the current climate, has expedited its implementation to further reduce on-board reusables and is part of Fiji Airways ongoing efforts to reduce onboard plastic use

Other actions

In light of the current situation with revenue under enormous pressure, the airline has instituted a number of cost control measures.

These include a freeze on recruitment, putting on hold future projects and capital works, and restrictions on duty travel. Fiji Airways will consider further cost-reduction actions as required.

The airline continues to work closely with the Fijian Health Ministry to enforce and further strengthen measures for the safety of guests, staff as well as our home base – Nadi Airport, which is Fiji’s gateway.

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