Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has revealed a list of Covid-19 preventative measures, in a move to assure passengers of its commitment to combat the spread of the outbreak. The extensive list covers several fronts, from on-the-ground efforts to onboard hygiene and catering hygiene, as well as cabin cleanliness and air quality.
“We uphold high standards in cleaning and disinfecting our aircraft and work closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure we follow their guidance on health precautions related to Covid-19,” said the airline in its statement. MAS stated that it is also guided by aviation health procedures imposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Among some of the measures that MAS has adopted to give all passengers better peace of mind and safer flights include:
MAS is obeying directives from authorities to conduct temperature screenings for passengers and crew members travelling to and from countries identified as Covid-19 hotspots. These are carried out at the boarding lounge for flights travelling to and from China, as well as out of South Korea.
The Malaysian Health Authorities also conducts its own temperature for flights from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taipei, Japan, and Korea. Once cleared, passengers will be given a Health Alert Card, which they must keep with them for the next 14 days.
Overall sanitisation and hygiene
MAS assured its passengers that it observes stringent sanitation standards. On the ground, crew members are required to attend pre-flight briefings on safety and hygiene practices. Hand sanitisers and masks are also provided at the flight crew centres. Additionally, the check-in counters, boarding lounge, and the Golden Lounge are regularly cleaned throughout the day, and are equipped with hand sanitisers for the convenience of both passengers and employees.
In terms of food hygiene onboard, gloves are provided for crew members who are handling food items and contaminated utensils. They has also begun using disposable equipment during flight services, such as cutleries and towels. MAS is also temporarily uplifting in-flight meals from Kuala Lumpur for flights out of China.
Aircraft interiors are also being regularly sanitised, especially for aircrafts that are servicing Mainland China routes, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Singapore. A special aircraft manufacturer-approved chemical disinfectant is applied to hard surfaces within the aircraft, including the armrests, chairs, table trays, galleys, and toilets. Also, if MAS has a Patient Under Investigation (PUI) onboard, the aircraft will be thoroughly sterilised, disinfected, and deep-cleaned with hydrogen peroxide solution.
All MAS aircrafts are equipped with High-Efficiency Particle Filters (HEPA), which filter and recirculate air from the cabin and mix it with fresh air. In fact, the engineering team had upgraded the HEPA filters of the entire fleet to filters with better filtration capability during the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Prior to this, MAS had also shared several infographic advisories to help its passengers better understand how air is circulated in the aircraft and the role of HEPA in the process. The cabin air is filtered and circulated about 20 to 30 times per hour. As such, MAS claims that it is potentially cleaner than the air that you breathe in most office buildings.
Apart from carrying out such precautions, MAS also urges all passengers to play their part in the prevention of the spread of the virus by practising good personal hygiene. It outlined several safety recommendations, such as washing your hands frequently, practising proper cough and sneeze etiquette, maintaining a distance from ill persons, as well as avoiding wet markets and live animal farms in affected areas.
If you’re interested, you can check out the complete list of the preventive measures and travel recommendations that MAS has shared.