Although Fiji Airways’ international flights are currently canceled through to the end of July, the carrier is wasting no time making sure that when it does begin connecting passengers to other parts of the world again, it can do so smoothly and safely.
Fiji Airways has launched a new program called Travel Ready. The airline’s managing director and CEO, Andre Viljoen, explained, “Our in-house teams, including our aviation medical advisor Dr. Rounak Lal, have been working closely with health authorities and other stakeholders to get Fiji Airways travel ready. We have reviewed all interaction points across the Fiji Airways customer experience and taken guidance from the World Health Organization, IATA and ICAO to safeguard guests and staff when we resume international flights.”
Central to the Travel Ready program will be the introduction of medically qualified Customer Wellness Champions who will maintain the medical safety of passengers and crew and promote wellness, both in the cabin and on the ground, for every international Fiji Airways flight. It’s a move that follows similar developments at Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines.
All customer-facing staff will wear personal protective equipment, and face masks will be mandatory for both Fiji Airways and Fiji Link customers, who must keep them on whenever practical throughout the journey – including at the airport – except for small children and those unable to do so.
“Of course, we remain flexible and can ramp up measures as necessary or as required by the countries we operate to.” – Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways
On arrival at the airport, passengers can expect to undergo enhanced health screenings, such as temperature checks, and to abide by physical distancing rules. Hand sanitizing stations will be available on the ground, including in the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi International Airport. Boarding will take place row by row beginning at the rear of the aircraft to reduce contact between customers.
During the flight, magazines and newspapers will not be available. Business-class customers will still receive a three-course meal, which will be delivered on a single tray; and amenity kits including face masks, hand gloves and hygiene packs. Those traveling in economy will be offered sanitized headsets in sealed packets and have meals delivered in eco-friendly packaging, which not only reduces touchpoints between passengers and crew but will save up to half a million liters of water and remove up to two tons of plastics from the cabin each year.
“Of course, we remain flexible and can ramp up measures as necessary or as required by the countries we operate to,” said Viljoen. “One crucial factor that will be enforced, but as yet remains unknown, is the entry restrictions or requirements for Fiji and other destinations in our network. Given the expected ‘fluid’ nature of COVID-19-related border requirements – including possible quarantine upon arrival – we encourage all customers to familiarize themselves with what to expect prior to travel through the Travel Ready hub.”
Fiji Airways has said that further safeguarding measures and customer experience enhancements will be revealed shortly.