By DALE LUMA
AIR Niugini will continue to support the Government’s efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.
Responding to queries from The National, the airline said it had beefed up its safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of customers.
The measures for both international and domestic flights include:
- Ensuring temperature checks are being carried out on all passengers prior to every flight;
- Supplying all passengers with face masks and hand sanitisers;
- Providing health information cards for passengers to fill in prior to taking a flight. These forms are then collected at the boarding gate and passed onto health authorities;
- Stopping all inflight catering;
- Removing all inflight magazines from the seat pockets;
- Ensuring aircrafts are cleaned on every turn around;
- Suspending all international flights except for Cairns, Brisbane and Singapore which are only airlifting freight including essential medicine and food supplies. Flights from these destinations do not carry passengers except for essential medical personnel;
- Ensuring aircrafts are sprayed with hospital-grade disinfectant every night the aircraft are at a maintenance base, including Port Moresby, and on every transit through Port Moresby, using an antibacterial, antimicrobial cleaning product that reduces the risk posed by harmful viruses, moulds, fungus, algae and any other possible harmful pathogenic bacteria;
- Ensuring the airline’s Boeing and Fokker jet aircrafts are fitted with high efficiency particulate air (Hepa) filters, which perform similarly to those used to keep the air clean in hospital operating rooms. This means the air quality on the aircraft is essentially sterile and particle-free; and,
Providing all staff who are interacting with the public, including our cabin crew and check-in staff, with personal protective equipment appropriate to the risk level for their role and location.Air Niugini recommenced operating domestic flights since Tuesday, April 7.
“However, we are not operating to the border provinces of Western, West Sepik, and East Sepik as well as Bougainville and East New Britain, in line with state of emergency directives,” the airline said. “While PNG has reported seven confirmed cases of Covid-19, it fortunately has not reported any death from the virus.
“It’s an evolving situation and as a concerned organisation, we prioritise the health and safety of the people of Papua New Guinea.”
The airline said the impact of Covid-19 on the air transport industry had been severe and it would take time to recover, however, it was obligated to do its part to limit the spread of the virus.
“We thank everyone for their continuous support to Air Niugini,” the airline said.