Etihad Airways is championing wellness as its priority with the launch of ‘Etihad Wellness’ that builds on the stringent measures already put in place by the airline in light of COVID-19. Its Wellness Ambassadors, an industry-first initiative by the airline, also provide guidance and care to guests.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt and redefined daily lives and industries across the globe. Aviation, an industry that usually connects the world together, also witnessed minimal movement with the onset of the pandemic. With restrictions now beginning to ease, a new normal is gradually emerging from this global health, social and economic crisis.
With the general sentiment currently remaining around fear and uncertainty, people’s needs have evolved. The pandemic will also change how people travel, and there will be a much larger focus on their safety and wellness.
Catering to this exact need, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, announced the launch of ‘Etihad Wellness’, an expanded and more comprehensive health and hygiene programme and customer guide. This builds on the stringent measures already put in place by the airline in light of COVID-19.
Etihad Wellness initiatives are being communicated through an easy-to-use online guide highlighting the high standards of cleanliness, health and hygiene being applied at every stage of the customer journey. This includes measures ranging from aircraft cabin deep-cleaning, check-in and health screening to the boarding and inflight experience.
An industry-first initiative – Wellness Ambassadors
This programme is championed by specially trained ‘Wellness Ambassadors’, an industry-first initiative by the airline. They are a dedicated team, trained at the airline’s facilities in Abu Dhabi, providing essential travel health information and care so guests can fly with greater peace of mind.
Available 24×7: For those needing more specific and personalised information, skilled Wellness Ambassadors can be contacted directly 24×7 via e-mail. This dedicated multilingual team will offer reassurance to customers by sharing advice on travel well-being and details of the health and sanitisation measures being implemented throughout their journey. Etihad will expand the service to include a web-chat option.
On-ground assistance at Abu Dhabi International Airport:
Etihad will also introduce these Wellness Ambassadors at Abu Dhabi International Airport in partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports (ADAC) to ensure guests are assisted at every point of their journey with the airline, right from check-in and security, to immigration and boarding, providing added comfort and confidence.
Enhanced level of customer care in-flight: Etihad’s ‘Wellness Ambassadors’ are also available on-board providing safety and wellness assistance in-flight.
COVID-19 global insurance by Etihad Airways
Guests who are diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip won’t have to worry about medical expenses or quarantine costs when they fly with Etihad. The airline has introduced COVID-19 global wellness insurance cover as part of Etihad Wellness and in association with AXA. All Etihad tickets regardless of date of booking, for travelling between now and December 31, 2020, will include COVID-19 insurance. Guests with existing bookings won’t need to do anything as they will be automatically enrolled into the programme. The insurance is valid worldwide for 31 days from the first day of travel. If a guest is diagnosed with COVID-19 while they are away from home, COVID-19 global wellness insurance will cover up to EUR150K of medical costs and up to EUR100 a day of quarantine costs in case of a positive diagnosis, for 14 days.
Cabin air filtration cleaning
Many guests have raised concerns about the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus while travelling on flights. To minimise risk, significant measures have been implemented prior to departure, in flight and after arrival. The Etihad aircraft have HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters which can filter more than 99 per cent of airborne microbes in the air. The cabin air flow is continuous, and delivered at a rate equivalent to up to 30 changes per hour.
Aircraft and cabin deep cleaning
Etihad undertakes cleaning of its aircraft on arrival at each destination, a practice which was already in place prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. For any aircraft arriving from a territory deemed medium or high-risk by the relevant international health authorities or if a suspected case has travelled on the aircraft, Etihad is deep-cleaning and disinfecting all cabin areas, cargo holds and crew rest areas. Seat covers from a potentially affected area are removed and incinerated. Disinfection of the entire cabin is also carried out, including the entire seat, overhead bins, light fixtures, air outlets, cabin panels, entertainment controls and screens, windows, tray tables, storage space, magazine racks and crew seats, using a cleaning product which is effective for up to 10 days. All the on-board galleys and lavatories are also completely disinfected. On flights deemed low-risk, a general clean and disinfection is conducted in Abu Dhabi when ground time exceeds two hours.
Stricter measures at Abu Dhabi International Airport
At Abu Dhabi International Airport, strict measures are in place at check-in counters to practice social distancing and a safer airport environment. These include floor marking to ensure social distancing, check-in teams wearing gloves and face masks, and regular sanitisation of check-in counters. Thermal screening at airports is carried out prior to boarding an Etihad Airways flight, and screening agents wear full personal protection equipment.
Highest standards of safety on-board with Etihad
Etihad’s teams on-board will wear surgical face masks and other protective gear, at all times. The airline is also providing special wellness kits including non-latex gloves, face mask and hand sanitizer. During every cabin service, the cabin crew will limit their direct interaction with customers and will restrict their presence in the cabin at all times, unless to carry-out safety and cleanliness checks, or if called by a guest. During the journey, if any passenger or crew member begins to feel unwell, their teams will create an on-board quarantine zone and inform medical authorities prior to arrival at the destination.