August 20 2020  |  Airline & Terminal News

​SWISS commits to EASA standards for pandemic conditions

By Rick Lundstrom

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) announced today it is firmly committed to maintaining the most rigorous standards of protection against infection worldwide.

The Lufthansa Group airline has now signed the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol to ensure safe air travel under pandemic conditions. “In voluntarily adopting the protocol and its standards, SWISS is further underlining that in these pandemic times, too, it is the safety of its passengers and employees that is its paramount priority,” said a release from the airline.

The COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol is a set of guidelines that have been jointly developed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Working with all the former’s member states, EASA and the ECDC have devised the regulations on the COVID-19 issue of any international association worldwide. The protocol establishes unified standards that reduce complexity, ensure reliability and provide additional health safety.

“We have continuously expanded our health safety precautions for our guests and our employees, in the air and on the ground, over the past few months,” says SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr. “With the support of the EASA protocol, we are now further committing ourselves to the most rigorous aviation health safety standards. And we are convinced that, in doing so, we are helping to make air travel even safer in these challenging times.”

As a member of the Lufthansa Group, SWISS has been closely involved in the creation of the new EASA protocol together with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airlines for Europe (A4E), and has made a particular contribution from a practical flight operations perspective. Many of the protocol’s key standards – such as on the wearing of facemasks, cabin air filtering, enhanced cabin air circulation (in the air and on the ground), intensified cabin cleaning, personal protection measures, promoting digital contact tracing and physical distancing on the ground and when embarking and deplaning – have been extensively based on input from SWISS and the Lufthansa Group. Further protective measures are also being adopted, such as the distribution to all passengers of disinfectant wipes. These actions are further complemented by generous rebooking options. SWISS is also in a close and constructive dialogue with all the relevant authorities in all its activities on these various fronts.

To strengthen customer confidence in flying as a safe mode of transport, SWISS and the Lufthansa Group will now be working to ensure that further states, airlines and airports around the world adopt the EASA protocol and its provisions, to help standardize aviation health safety precautions as much as possible and make a successful contribution to tackling the present pandemic.

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