Air Canada has mandated pre-flight temperature checks for customers, as well as face coverings, and several other measures, as part of a new safety program.
Titled Air Canada CleanCare+, the new program aims to emphasize personal safety and enhanced aircraft grooming, to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
In addition to temperature checks and mandatory masks, the program promises more personal space in Economy Class at least until June 30, personal care kits containing disinfectant and safety items, and revised food products, minimizing crew and passenger contact.
Employee Personal Protective Equipment is mandatory as well.
Temperature checks will be mandatory for passengers, one of several measures to be introduced through Air Canada CleanCare+ as we enhance personal safety & grooming aboard our aircraft. Adjacent seats will be blocked & care kits handed out to passengers https://t.co/DQNS93fUkL
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) May 4, 2020
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To supplement these new measures, Air Canada CleanCare+ will also strengthen the airline’s cabin grooming standards with the introduction of electrostatic spraying of cabin interiors.
The airline will also expand its existing aircraft grooming procedures, which already incorporate the use of hospital grade disinfectant and specialized techniques to maintain cabin cleanliness across its fleet.
“While we are eager to see the reopening of economies and the restart of commercial aviation, the safety of our customers and employees is Air Canada’s core value and we aim to establish the highest standards of hygiene, cleanliness and attention to public health guidelines,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO of Air Canada.
Rovinescu said the airline is the first in the Americas to administer pre-flight temperature checks across its entire system.
“We intend to continue enhancing Air Canada CleanCare+ where we can with best practices from around the world, including increased use of screening tools, such as blood oxygen level testing, as they become available.”
In order to ensure the safety and well-being of all customers, the following measures will be introduced through the Air Canada CleanCare+ program by May 15:
- Customers travelling on Air Canada flights will be subject to a non-invasive, infra-red temperature check at all airports. Customers who are deemed unfit to travel will be rebooked at no cost but be required to obtain medical clearance prior to travel.
- Air Canada will automatically block the sale of adjacent seats and cap the total number of seats sold for each flight. No customer in Economy Class will be required to sit immediately adjacent to another, unless they are required to do so to assist another customer with whom they are travelling. This policy will remain in effect until at least June 30, 2020.
- The distribution of care kits will begin, containing hand sanitizers, and other health items to all customers.
- The airline has strengthened its cabin grooming standards and will begin using state-of-the-art electrostatic sprayers to ensure a deeper clean with hospital grade disinfectant.
Previously implemented measures that will remain in effect include:
- Requiring customers to wear face coverings during their travel, including at check-in, during boarding and as directed while onboard its aircraft.
- Protocols for the use of Personal Protective Equipment by employees, including face shields and coverings, gloves and gowns by the in-flight crew, along with other safety measures to encourage physical distancing, such as a revised boarding procedure and a new onboard service program.
- Adapted check-in measures to promote physical distancing.
- Temporary adjustments to on-board services, such as individual water bottles instead of bar service offerings and the removal of pillows and blankets. Air Canada enRoute and other non-safety literature have been removed from all seatback pockets.
For customers who have already purchased tickets and are looking to change their travel, Air Canada has revised its booking policies so there is no change or cancellation fee for existing or new bookings.
Additionally, customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the impacts of the coronavirus can retain the unused amount of their ticket for up to 24 months.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the Air Canada CleanCare+ program can do so here.