PASSENGERS’ HEALTH AND SAFETY KEY TO REVIVING THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
(Posted 24th August 2020)
Safe travel during the Corona pandemic: Brussels Airlines signs EASA Charter
- Brussels Airlines implements European standard for safe flying under pandemic conditions
- Commitment to the strictest infection control standards in aviation worldwide
Aviation is one of the sectors most affected by the corona pandemic. This makes it all the more important to strengthen confidence in flying as a safe travel option. This is why Brussels Airlines, together with the other Lufthansa Group airlines, has signed the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) charter for safe flying under pandemic conditions. In doing so, Brussels Airlines commits itself to the strictest infection protection standards in aviation worldwide. By voluntarily implementing this standard, the Lufthansa Group is underlining that the safety of its passengers and crew continues to be the main priority.
With the charter, EASA establishes non-binding guidelines that were developed in cooperation with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). By involving all member states in cooperation with the ECDC, EASA was able to define the strictest rules of an association of states worldwide. Uniform standards have been established which reduce complexity for the airlines and create reliability and additional safety.
The airports of Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna have also committed themselves to the guidelines. This means that a framework for the protection of passengers on the ground and in the air has been established.
Said Dieter Vranckx, CEO of Brussels Airlines: “The safety of our passengers and crew is always the first priority at Brussels Airlines and throughout the Lufthansa Group. When we restarted our flight operations on 15 June, we immediately implemented additional health safety measures on the ground and on board in order to ensure a safe travel journey. By signing the EASA charter, we show that we support very strict standards in aviation.”
The Lufthansa Group, together with the industry associations International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airlines for Europe (A4E), has accompanied the development process of the charter from the perspective of aviation practice. Important standards for components such as the implementation of mandatory masks, filtering of cabin air and increased ventilation of the aircraft on the ground, appropriate cabin cleaning, personal protection measures, working towards digital contact tracking and physical distancing measures on the ground and during boarding/boarding are based on input from the Lufthansa Group. The Lufthansa Group also implements further protective measures, such as distributing disinfectant wipes to all passengers or offering generous rebooking policies to its passengers.
The Lufthansa Group will continue to closely monitor the development of the EASA/ECDC guidelines and will transmit key figures to EASA. In addition, the Lufthansa Group enters into a dialogue on the further development of the standards. The focus will be on integrating new scientific and technical findings and operational experience in implementing the standards. The Lufthansa Group will continue to press for other countries, airlines and airports worldwide to adopt these standards in order to guarantee the most uniform standards possible for travellers and make a successful contribution to combating the pandemic.
Brussels Airlines had, ahead of the relaunch of flight operations on the 15th of June across the Schengen area of Europe also indicated they wanted to resume services to Entebbe and Kigali on the 14th of July, but the Ugandan government has not responded to calls from across the aviation industry and the tourism sector as a whole to reopen Entebbe International Airport.
This is now seen as an irrational if not irresponsible position, taken without scientific foundation, given that not only the rest of the Eastern African region has reopened airports for scheduled passenger flights but that airports across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia are handling traffic again.
As and when common sense finally prevails and Entebbe reopens for scheduled passenger operations, will ATCNews inform readers of the dates and the resumption of flights by Brussels Airlines.