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May 8, 2020 Newsletter header


The Bilateral Chamber will continue to provide our members and stakeholders with relevant, timely information to help you navigate through these unprecedented times. During this time of global crisis and the war on the COVID-19 pandemic, the global aviation industry has suffered a devastating decline in passenger traffic. In some regions of the world, passenger traffic is down by as much as 95% of pre-pandemic traffic.

Returning passenger traffic to pre-pandemic levels will take time and effort, but will be an extremely important and necessary part of the global economic recovery.

In recognition of the headwinds that global airlines will face to return passenger traffic to pre-pandemic levels, they are proactively taking unprecedented steps to protect passengers and provide a healthy and safe flying experience. This newsletter will focus on those extraordinary steps by the global aviation industry.

If you have any questions or would like to share helpful resources, please feel free to contact us at

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

May 8, 2020 live coronavirus map
Taken as of May 8th, 2020 @11:30 AM CST.

To view the live update of the COVID-19 Global Cases, Click here.


CNBC: When Will We Start Traveling Again? Here’s What Experts Are Saying
While the experts acknowledge they don’t have a crystal ball, they all agreed that it would take around 18 to 24 months before there’s a significant spike in demand and the industry begins to return to regular levels. In the meantime, the travel industry will undergo some very big changes: Airports may institute new kinds of security checks to screen travelers who are sick, nervous tourists will vacation closer to home, and the travel experience will be dominated by large chains as small hotels and restaurants struggle or go out of business.

Reuters: Global Airlines Body IATA Backs Face Masks for Safe Flying
The body representing global airlines came out in favour of passengers wearing masks onboard, as debate intensifies over how to get airlines flying while respecting social-distancing rules following the coronavirus crisis.

Traveller: Airlines and Coronavirus: In-flight Magazines Removed and Some Won't Be Coming Back
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, airlines have instituted onboard cleaning measures that include the removal of incidental perks. Gone, at least for now, are in-flight magazines. But what about tomorrow? Experts in the publishing field remain hopeful that the glossy travel magazines will return to their rightful place in the seatback pocket.


Business Insider: Passengers Will Be Required to Wear Masks on American, Delta, and United as Airlines Try to Convince Passengers to Fly Again
Most major US airlines will start requiring passengers to wear face masks when traveling, as airlines look for ways to both protect and reassure employees and potential passengers. American, Delta, and United all announced their policies, following JetBlue — which announced its requirement on April 29 — and Frontier, which announced its policy earlier. Alaska Airlines announced a similar policy. COVID-19: How U.S. Carriers Are Working to Protect Travelers
The safety of passengers and employees is the top priority of U.S. airlines. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, carriers have been working closely with Congress, the Administration and federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Airlines are following – or exceeding – guidance from the CDC to help contain and stop the spread of COVID-19. Each of the below carriers have enhanced their cleaning and disinfecting procedures, including using High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to clean the air.

CDC: Updated Interim Guidance for Airlines and Airline Crew
This document provides interim recommendations for the commercial airline industry about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, China.

Air Canada: Air Canada’s Preventive Measures
Air Canada rigorously follows the guidance of all relevant health authorities and follows best demonstrated practices in the prevention and handling of communicable diseases in the air travel industry. Additionally, in the last year, it has entered a partnership with a third-party company that monitors infectious diseases all over the world and provides them with information in real-time to ensure it is equipped to make the best decisions at the best time.

Forbes: Mandatory Face Masks And More: Canadian Airlines Introduce New Coronavirus Travel Safety Measures
To protect passengers and crew as much as possible from the transmission of COVID-19, carriers have instituted numerous safety measures. Here’s a look at what Canada’s major airlines are doing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus during flights.

​NBC News: Higher Fares, Longer Waits, No Booze: How Coronavirus Will Change The Way We Fly
Higher ticket prices, temperature checks before boarding, and no inflight alcohol: Airline travel in the post-coronavirus era will look very different from the low-cost "getaway" trips of the past — and you should probably pack your lunch.


CNN: Airline Passengers Undergo Covid-19 Blood Tests Before Boarding
Airline passangers being tested
Perhaps a sign of what the future holds for air travelers, Dubai-based airline Emirates has begun carrying out Covid-19 blood tests on passengers at the airport prior to flights. According to a statement released by the airline, the first rapid Covid-19 blood tests took place at Dubai International Airport, with passengers on a flight to Tunisia all reportedly tested
before departure. The tests were conducted by the Dubai Health Authority at the Group Check-in area of Terminal 3 and results were available within 10 minutes.

The Jakarta Post: Etihad to Launch Contactless Kiosks that Can Detect Fever and Flag At-risk Travelers
Etihad Airways is testing self-serve, contactless kiosks that can monitor passengers' temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate and identify at-risk travelers. The technology is meant to help airports identify and flag passengers with medical symptoms that would make them potential health hazards to fellow flyers, including potential carriers of COVID-19.

Emirates: Emirates Steps Up Safety Measures for Customers and Employees at the Airport and Onboard
Emirates Airlines Emirates is stepping up precautionary measures at the airport and on board to ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers. All cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff in direct contact with passengers will now don personal protective equipment (PPE) which includes a protective disposable gown over their uniforms, and a safety
visor, in addition to masks and gloves. At Dubai International Airport, gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees. Thermal scanners monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees stepping into the airport. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travellers maintain the necessary distance during check-in and boarding.

Qatar Airways: Qatar Airways Is Taking Firm Steps to Respond to COVID-19
Qatar Airways has implemented robust policies to ensure the health and safety of its passengers and employees. Cabin crew have received training on how to minimise their chances of contracting or spreading the infection, are thermally screened before the departure of flights and after their arrival, and are quarantined and tested if any colleagues or passengers on a flight shows any symptoms of infection or test positive for the virus. In terms of passengers, Qatar Airways is encouraging social distancing where possible, especially on flights with lighter loads. Distancing is also implemented during the boarding process, ensuring passengers are allocated seats far apart from each other.


Daily Mail: Air France, KLM and Lufthansa Make Face Masks Compulsory for All Passengers - With the Carriers Stressing Filters Make Cabin Air Quality Similar to that in an Operating Theatre
Air France and KLM say they will be telling customers to wear a mask throughout their journey from next Monday (May 11). German airline Lufthansa brought in the new rule yesterday (May 4), saying passengers must 'wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth'.

The Guardian: Heathrow to Carry Out Temperature Checks on Passengers
Temperature detectors
Heathrow will start using thermal cameras to carry out temperature checks on passengers within the next fortnight, as it called for common health screening standards around the world for air travellers. The UK’s busiest airport said it would trial thermal cameras capable of monitoring the temperature of people in the immigration halls, initially in Terminal 2.
If successful, it will install the equipment in the departures, connections and staff search areas.

Airlines For Europe (A4E): Safety Measures Taken by A4E Airlines
From enhanced cleaning procedures to mandatory earring of face masks, the health of A4E passengers and crews is its top priority. It continues to work closely with national, EU and international health and aviation authorities to monitor the latest COVID-19 developments.


Ethiopian Airlines: Travel With Confidence
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Ethiopian Airlines has been implementing all the recommendations of WHO and other Global Health & Travel regulators. It has been taking extra steps to ensure the health and comfort of its passengers, such as disinfecting aircraft, upgrading HEPA filtration systems, and requiring passengers to complete mandatory health declarations and temperature checks prior to boarding.


YouTube: Pakistan International Airlines Health and Safety Measures
PIA has adopted various safety protocols for disinfection of aircraft after every flight using chemicals that are certified to battle coronavirus.

The Hindu: All Safety Measures Being Taken For The Welfare of Crew
Air India said on Wednesday that it has taken adequate measures to protect the health and safety of its crew. The best possible equipment is provided and aircraft are fumigated and disinfected.


Traveller: Hong Kong Airport Tests Full-Body Disinfectant Booths
Hong Kong International Airport has provided a glimpse of what the future of air travel might look like, introducing cleaning robots, antimicrobial coatings on surfaces and a disinfection booth for passengers. The busy Asian airport claims it is the first in the world to trial a live operation of CleanTech, designed to disinfect travellers from head to toe.

AirAsia: AirAsia Returning to Service Stronger
AirAsia resumed its scheduled domestic flights today in Malaysia, and will be followed by Thailand (1 May 2020), the Philippines (16 May 2020), and Indonesia (7 May 2020), subject to approval from the authorities. Strict health controls and social distancing protocol are in place, in compliance with the regulations. [AirAsia] will require guests to wear a mask and practice universally recommended protective precautionary measures including social distancing and observing high personal hygiene. All aircraft, which are fitted with hospital-standard High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, will also be sent for a thorough disinfection every night stop.

Vietnam Airlines: Vietnam Airlines to Conduct Disinfectant Spraying in its Entire Fleet
To ensure the highest level of safety for passengers, starting from midnight on the 25th of March 2020, Vietnam Airlines will spray and sanitize the entire fleet of aircraft and its equipment with disinfectant upon landing in Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam Airlines is the only airline in Vietnam to disinfect all operated aircraft on a daily basis.

Thai Airways: THAI and THAI Smile Issue the Spread of Covid-19 Preventive Measures
In order to increase passenger safety and confidence in service provision, Thai Airways has implemented additional precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 through touchpoints that are strictly adhered to throughout inflight service on flights to high risk destinations.


Aeromexico: Safety Precautions: COVID-19
Due to the global presence of COVID-19, Aeromexico is strengthening its preventive measures for flights that operate in the affected areas and are offering travel flexibility waivers for all of its flights. Measures include airport identification protocols, additional aircraft cleaning actions, additional personal hygiene items, strengthening catering protocols, onboard case identification protocols and upgraded, state-of-the-art onboard filtrations systems.

​LATAM Airlines: Learn About Our Health and Safety Measures
Today taking care of its passengers' well-being is its most important journey. This is why LATAM wants to share the health and safety protocols they are implementing on their flights in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

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