Ghana’s leading carrier, Africa World Airlines (AWA), has assured air travellers flying with it that the airline has taken adequate health and safety measures to prevent any possibility of being infected on its aircraft.
This is just as the airline assured passengers booked with it that it is instituting a waiver of all change fees on any of its international flights, valid until 18 April 2020.
The airline in a statement said: “The Africa World Airlines team recognises that current news regarding COVID-19 may cause uncertainty among airline passengers. We thank you for continuing to place your faith in AWA and assure you of our team’s commitment to “Fly safe, fly confident!”
“The safety and well-being of our passengers, crew and staff is the top priority at all times. The AWA team is monitoring the situation and developments around the clock, in co-ordination with IATA as well as various health and governmental authorities in the countries we fly to. Nonetheless, we would like to reassure our passengers regarding the steps we are taking to ensure your safety.
“We are ensuring that the air you breathe on our aircraft continues to be filtered to the highest standards. All AWA aircraft are equipped with filters that remove most pollutants, including dust, bacteria and viruses, from the air circulating in the cabin. The air on board AWA aircraft is actually cleaner than the air you breathe on the ground in most circumstances.
“We have instituted an enhanced cleaning process for our aircraft, including refresher training for cleaners to ensure that the most “at-risk” surfaces for transmission of disease are cleaned to the highest standards. We are also engaging in anti-viral fumigation of aircraft that return from destinations where isolated cases of COVID-19 have been detected, prior to the aircraft being operated on other routes.
“We have equipped all of our aircraft with additional stocks of gloves, sanitizers, and surgical masks. Although these masks have minimal benefit to prevent wearers from contracting an illness, they do help contain the spread of any potential infection from someone who may already be sick. If you display any symptoms of cough, cold, fever, etc.. during the flight, your crew may request you to don a mask out of an abundance of caution, and may also request to re-seat you away from other passengers. We kindly request you to comply with any such request.
“We are urging passengers to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. We have imposed mandatory pre-boarding hand sanitization for passengers at selected airports to minimise risk of transmission through handling of boarding passes, carry-on luggage, etc..
“We have imposed a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for any of our crew or staff who has recently traveled to areas with exposure to COVID-19 transmission. This is being done out of an abundance of caution, and to recognise that as aviation professionals, we have a special responsibility to ensure we maintain the highest standards of safety. This may result in some flight cancellations or re-timings as we adjust schedules to accommodate these operational challenges.
“We are instituting a waiver of all change fees on any of our international flights, valid until 18APR20. If you are traveling on an international flight with AWA anytime from today until that date, you can be assured that you can change your plans with no penalty applied. Please note that a fare difference may however apply if you wish to change your travel to a more expensive flight or route.
“We pledge to do everything we can to help in these challenging circumstances, and look forward to welcoming you to “Fly safe, fly confident!” on your next flight with us” it said.