SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld alliance, elaborates on the efficacy of the health and safety measures that are put in place throughout its passenger journey with the intention of ensuring maximum safety and wellbeing for its valued passengers and crew alike.
In the onset, International Air Transportation (IATA) in a communique revealed ‘The risk of contracting COVID-19 onboard an aircraft to be very low’. (https://www.iata.org/en/youandiata/travelers/health/low-risk-transmission/)
Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Airline has been operating under the most stringent health and safety regulatory measures stipulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and has been in full adherence with the respective aviation authorities of the countries that it operates to.
The Airline also took a progressive measure in vaccinating its workforce on priority basis, staying ahead of the timelines of the nation-wide vaccination programme.
Accordingly, the Airline commenced its staff vaccination process as early as in February 2021 and has fully inoculated more than 4,500 employees including key frontline and operational staff representing Flight and Cabin Crew, Airport Services, Engineering, Security, Ticket Office and Sales Staff, and other second-layer operational staff who are directly exposed to the virus.
Currently, 95% of cabin and flight crew and around 90% of the operational and other staff are vaccinated with recommend doses.
SriLankan Airlines’ fleet undergoes deep sanitation before each journey and is equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. IATA further states that, “Cabin air consists of half fresh air and half High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)-filtered air, which remove 99.993% of bacteria and viruses. HEPA filters are those also used in hospital operating theatres”.
Additionally, from each point of operation across its network including Colombo, it is mandatory for all passengers to be in possession of a negative PCR or antigen test before departure and temperature screening takes place at multiple points leading to boarding, in order to ensure maximum safety. The Airline has also restricted the availability of shareable items onboard to prevent any form of possible contamination.
Wearing face masks is mandatory right through the journey and the cabin crew are attired in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which is inclusive head covers, face shields, face masks, gown, gloves and shoe covers.
IATA’s published study dated August 5-6,2021 titled ‘Air Travel, Public Health Measures and Risk in the Context of COVID 19’ cites, ‘Universal wearing of face coverings appears to be an effective protection against spread via aerosols [Cheng]’.
However, certain globally acclaimed airlines have already opted for the cabin crew to be only wearing face masks and gloves, unless otherwise required by a regulatory authority.
SriLankan Airlines’ continuous efforts to ensure health and safety were commended with the highest attainable ‘Diamond’ status by the APEX Health and Safety Audit powered by SimplyFlying, thus making the National Carrier the first airline in South Asia to attain the status and one of the 15 global airlines currently belonging to the esteemed tier.
The Airline continues to follow strict precautions in order to safeguard health and wellbeing of its valued passengers and crew during every journey.
In order to learn more about SriLankan Airlines’ health and safety precautions, click https://www.srilankan.com/en_uk/coporate/covid-update