In a bid to assure guests flying to domestic and international destinations, Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia adopts a multi-layered approach to safety with focus on digital technology.
Guests can now reduce person-to-person interaction with the airline’s self check-in kiosks installed at airport terminals.
To initiate a contactless transaction, guests are advised to check-in first on the AirAsia mobile app or website. The generated QR code on their mobile device or printed document after checking in may then be scanned at the kiosk, which will always be on “active mode” to read QR codes.
Scanning a QR code will automatically print boarding passes and baggage tags without having to touch the kiosk’s screen.
Guests may check-in on the mobile app or website as early as 14 days up to one hour before their scheduled departure time. Guests will also soon be able to scan their passports via the app itself, according to AirAsia. There are also plans to add other features such as travel visa scanning capabilities in the near future.
Safety on ground
All passengers are mandated to wear face masks before entering the airport terminal, inside the airport vicinity, and on board the aircraft.
Health screening stations and thermal scanners are placed at several stations including entry points and boarding gates. Hand sanitizers are provided in common areas of the terminal.
Physical distancing will be strictly enforced using floor markings at queueing locations. Only passengers with confirmed bookings will be allowed inside the terminal to prevent overcrowding.
Passengers are encouraged to use e-boarding passes to minimize face-to-face interactions.
AirAsia’s ground and cabin crew are required to wear their personal protective equipment while on-duty, inside the airport vicinity, and on board the aircraft.
Daily disinfection will take place especially in crowded places and high-touch surfaces such as check-in counter tops, counter computers and peripherals, wheelchairs, and kiosks, among others.
Physical distancing measures will also be in place upon arrival. Floor markings near the conveyor belt will serve as guide. Hand sanitizers are placed in key areas.
Safety on board
Much emphasis is placed on onboard safety with the installation of powerful High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that effectively clean cabin air. The air inside the cabin passes through the filters which purify the air every two to three minutes by screening almost the entire spectrum of particles.
These filters are similar to those installed in hospital operating rooms where airborne infection is much lower compared to normal environments.
The International Air Transport Association has also stated, with effective safety measures in place, “Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board aircraft is low. Mask-wearing by passengers and crew will reduce the already low risk.”
In addition to air filters, all aircraft undergo deep cleaning and sanitation. Cabin disinfection takes place before and after each flight.
Ground and cabin crew have been adequately trained in identifying and handling passengers showing symptoms, to be endorsed to authorities. Protocols for inflight medical incidents, which include assigning special seats and lavatory for use of ill passengers, are also in place.
Guests will deplane by row during disembarkation.
Santan meals are still served on board, but guests will need to pre-book their hot meals online. In-flight purchasing of meals is temporarily put on hold, to lessen physical interactions in transit.
Guests are now allowed two pieces of cabin baggage not exceeding a total of 7 kg. in weight.
“Our innovations have gone beyond new products and digital solutions to include new protocols for a safer journey. Over and above local and international travel regulations, guests can confidently fly with us again,” said AirAsia Philippines chief executive officer Ricky Isla.