Part of the plan is a newly-launched ‘Travel Ready’ program, which details the airline’s commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of its customers and staff.
This includes the creation of a new onboard role of medically qualified ‘Customer Wellness Champions’.
This role will manage and maintain wellbeing, customer medical safety and promote wellness through service interactions to passengers and crew onboard and on the ground for every flight on the Fiji Airways international network.
Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO, Andre Viljoen, said: “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 Organisation, IATA and ICAO to draw up enhanced safeguards for our guests and staff when we resume international flights,” he said.
Facemasks will be mandatory for travel for both Fiji Airways and Fiji Link customers once international flights recommence, and guests are advised to have these prior to arriving at the airport for the issuance of boarding passes.
Fiji Airways says all customers must keep their masks on wherever practical throughout their journey, except small children and those unable to do so.
All customer-facing staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). This includes sales office, airport and lounge staff, as well as cabin crew.
The re-designed onboard service and experience will reduce contact between customers and crew while maintaining the fantastic Fiji Airways hospitality.
Some of Fiji Airways’ measures and advice for international customers are below.
• Customers holding credits will easily be able to utilise these for future flights on Fiji Airways – right up till 31 December 2021. Bookings using held credits can be done through the Reservations Centre, and shortly available on Manage Your Bookings on the website.
• Spaced out seating and entry limits will apply at all Fiji Airways Sales Offices.
• Customers are advised to familiarise themselves with up-to-date information about the entry requirements for their destinations by visiting the Travel Ready hub on the Fiji Airways website.
• Customers feeling unwell on their day of travel are strongly advised to not travel, and to rebook travel to a different day. Unwell customers may be denied boarding at the airport.
• All Fiji Airways and Fiji Link aircraft undergo enhanced deep cleaning daily, which includes ‘fogging’ and wiping all surfaces with specifically approved disinfectants, which are effective against a broad spectrum of micro-organisms.
• Customers can expect enhanced health screenings, including temperature checks.
• Physical distancing and spaced out counters will be practiced throughout most airports, and hand sanitisers will be available for use.
• All checked-in bags will be sanitised before being loaded onto the aircraft.
• Boarding will be done by seat-rows (starting from the rear of the aircraft for Fiji Airways and front of the aircraft for Fiji Link), to reduce contact between customers.
• Physical distancing and spaced-out seating will be practiced through the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge. at Nadi International Airport, and hand sanitisers will be available for use.
• All dining will be offered Ala Carte.
• Other measures will implemented, including bookings for use of shower facilities.
• The in-cabin air in all jet aircraft is filtered and recirculated through extremely efficient HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestors) filters. On average, the in-cabin air completely changes every 3 minutes. This is a much higher rate of flow than what people experience in other indoor environments.
• Lavatories onboard will be sanitised more frequently inflight, and high-touch surfaces will be sanitised after every flight.
• Business class customers will continue to enjoy three-course meals, now delivered on a single tray.
• A simplified meal service for Economy Class will be delivered in special ‘Food for Thought’ packaging, which reduces contact between customers and crew. This eco-friendly packaging is safe for disposal, and will save up to half a million litres of water a year and remove up to two tonnes of plastics annually from onboard.
• Magazines and newspapers will not be available onboard. Customers will receive sanitised headsets in sealed packs.
• Business Class amenity kits will include specially designed facemasks, along with hand gloves and hygiene packs.
• In addition to the introduction of medically qualified Customer Wellness Champions, cabin crew and pilots will be trained specifically for flight operations in a COVID-19 travel world, including handling of medical issues onboard.
Viljoen said: “These are just some of the many measures, actions and changes that our customers and staff can expect for their protection.
“We will continue to be guided by our stakeholders and health authorities in our efforts.
“Of course, we remain flexible and can ramp up measures as necessary or as required by the countries we operate to.
“One crucial factor that will be enforced, but as yet remains unknown, is the entry restrictions or requirements for Fiji and other destinations on our network.
“Given the expected ‘fluid’ nature of COVID-19-related border requirements – including possible quarantine upon arrival – we encourage all customers to familiarise themselves with what to expect prior to travel through the Travel Ready hub,” he said.
Viljoen added that further safeguards and exciting customer experience enhancements unique to Fiji Airways will be revealed shortly.
This includes further details about the role of Customer Wellness Champions, as well as broadening the airline’s award winning Lailai Land children’s product and the popular Resort Check-in service.
He said Fiji Airways would await approval from authorities in Fiji and its key international markets before announcing international flight schedules.
At the present time, all Fiji Airways international flights remain cancelled through the end of July 2020.