Aviation

Hawaiian Airlines implements new health measures to combat COVID-19

Hawaiian Airlines has enhanced the health measures throughout its operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline, whose airport employees and flight attendants already wear face masks, has required passengers to wear a face mask or covering that effectively covers their mouth and nose, from checking in at the airport to deplaning at their destination since 8 May.

Young children unable to keep a face covering on or guests with a medical condition or disability preventing its use are exempt from the policy.

Since 8 May, Hawaiian Airlines has also been asking guests to remain seated at the gate area until their rows are called.

Main cabin guests now board from the rear of the aircraft, in groups of three to five rows at a time, and airport agents pause boarding as needed to prevent congestion. Guests who require special assistance and those seated in first class are still able to pre-board.

Hawaiian Airlines has also begun blocking middle seats on its jets, adjoining seats on ATR 42 turboprop aircraft, and other select seats to continue to provide more space for guests and flight attendants.

Depending on load factors, seating can be adjusted at the gate to maximise spacing throughout the cabin and meet weight and balance restrictions.

Hawaiian Airlines is also making the effort to seat families and guests travelling in the same party together, whenever possible, and is encouraging guests who prefer to sit together to contact the airline ahead of the flight or see an airport agent.

In April, Hawaiian Airlines began using electrostatic spraying to comprehensively and evenly clean aircraft cabins with hospital-grade disinfectants, registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency, that coat even hidden and hard-to-reach surfaces.

The airline is applying electrostatic treatment, which dries in five minutes, nightly on the Boeing 717 aircraft it operates on flights between the islands, and prior to each departure from Hawaii on Airbus A330s that serve transpacific routes. The airline’s A321neo fleet is currently not in service due to a reduced flying schedule.

Hawaiian Airlines, whose modern transpacific fleet is equipped with HEPA air filters that create a dry and essentially sterile environment inhospitable to viruses, also has detailed cleaning and disinfecting protocols, paying special attention to high-touch areas such as seats, seatbacks, headrests, monitors, tray tables, overhead bins, walls, windows and shades, as well as galleys and lavatories.

Furthermore, the airline distributes sanitising wipes to passengers and has temporarily adjusted certain in-flight services, such as suspending the refilling of beverages in cups or personal bottles, as well as its hot towel service.

Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines, said: “Taking care of our guests and employees has always been our primary focus, and these new health measures will help us maintain a safe travel experience, from our lobbies to our cabins, as Hawaii continues to make progress in containing COVID-19.

“We appreciate our guests’ understanding and flexibility as we adapt our operations with their wellbeing guiding every decision we make.”

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