With some state and territory borders reopened and more Australians considering a holiday, Virgin Australia is reassuring passengers it’s safe to fly.
In a video released by the airline today, Virgin Australia Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sara Souter, explains what travellers can expect to see at airports, gate lounges, and onboard flights, to better protect them against COVID-19.
“At Virgin Australia, the safety and wellbeing of our guests is always our priority. That’s why we’ve introduced changes to our customer journey and increased our hygiene practices, to minimise risks associated with COVID-19, and to help you feel more comfortable and confident when flying with us,” said Dr Souter.
“These changes have been developed in close collaboration with airlines and airports across Australia and have been endorsed by Federal health authorities to ensure a consistent and safe travel experience wherever you choose to fly.”
The video, filmed at Brisbane Domestic Airport, outlines Virgin Australia’s new approach to protecting travellers from risks associated with COVID-19, beginning before they arrive at the airport.
Before arriving at the airport
• The protection measures begin well before passengers arrive at the airport with a notification sent via email and SMS 48 hours prior to departure, which advises of the new travel procedures and encourages passengers to download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app; and
• Passengers are also notified to update their contact details to assist with contact tracing.
• Whether a passenger checks in online or at the airport, they will be required to answer a short pre-flight health screening questionnaire;
• Passengers who have tested positive to COVID-19, been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have COVID-19 symptoms should not fly; and
• To limit contact between passengers and crew, some airports have implemented hygiene screens throughout the check-in areas.
• Hand sanitising stations are located throughout Virgin Australia boarding gates and we recommended passengers apply sanitiser before boarding. In Victoria, passengers will also be offered complimentary masks and hand sanitiser kits at the boarding gate;
• To promote social distancing, a staggered boarding approach has been adopted; and
• Passengers will be required to scan their own boarding pass to limit contact with crew.
• Boarding the aircraft will be staggered to give passengers plenty of time to put their luggage in the overhead lockers;
• Cabin crew will make additional COVID-safe announcements throughout the flight, including providing more information on the high level of sanitised airflow on aircraft;
• Complimentary hand sanitiser and face masks kits will be provided by crew upon request;
• Passengers travelling to and from Victoria will be required to wear a face mask in accordance with the Victorian Health Department order;
• Once in-the-air, passengers will only be offered complimentary water and a snack to limit contact between passengers and crew; and
• Passengers may also notice a fresh scent in-the-air with Virgin Australia enhancing its cleaning of aircraft interior surfaces using Duropax, a special long-lasting antibacterial and antimicrobial cleaning agent.
Virgin Australia’s multi-layered approach to protecting travellers from risks associated with COVID-19 will assist Australians to feel confident in flying again.
Virgin Australia’s health and wellbeing measures, which were fully implemented on 12 June, will remain in place for the foreseeable future, better-protecting passengers and crew whenever they fly.