Emirates Airlines has just begun a “first-ever” industry attempt to help-reopen the air travel market. The airlines claims it’s the first to conduct on-site COVID-19 testing since their recent flight from Dubai to Tunis proved out a promising coronavirus screening plan.
According to the airline, the future of travel may be for countries’ immigration and health authorities to require a health certificate from airline passengers, so they can show there is no danger of bringing the deadly Coronavirus in. And since Nepal was one of the first countries requiring such a certificate for arriving passengers, Emirates seized the opportunity to prove out a new system.
In coordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Emirates will be introducing additional precautions. Passengers on today’s flight to Tunisia were all tested for COVID-19 before departing from Dubai. Emirates is the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 passengers tests.
The quick blood test was conducted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes. This test was conveniently done at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3. Adel Al Redha, Emirates Chief Operating Officer had this to say about the program:
“The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. This would have not been possible without the support of Dubai Airport and other government authorities.”
The Emirates executive went on to talk about plans to scale up passenger tests in the future. First, the airline intends to extend the testing regime to other flights, which will, in turn, allow for on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) offered this:
“We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travelers. To tackle COVID-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organizations and the private health sector and we have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to the provision of high-quality health services in line with the latest international guidelines. We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organizations.”
Emirate’s check-in and boarding scheme has been adapted to optimize the positive impact of social distancing. According to Emirates, protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk to provide additional safety measures to our passengers and employees during any interaction. Gloves, masks and hand sanitizers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.
In addition to passenger tests, Emirates clients are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft, while following social distancing guidelines. Many other measures have been taken in order to minimize the risk from human interaction, including not allowing baggage in the aircraft cabin. Also, all Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey.