To speed up the process of the South Pacific Bubble for Australia and New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui has announced its suite of health and sanitary measures to protect travellers and staff alike.
As much as we want to get back to travelling and exploring our world, there is a ‘new normal’ we must get adjusted to. And this is being showcased in what Air Tahiti Nui is proposing to facilitate the brave new travellers – a new set of health and sanitary guidelines that will protect holidaymakers as well as the airline’s staff.
As an official note, all travellers arriving in Tahiti and Her Islands on/before 15 July 2020 will be asked to submit to a quarantine period of 7 days. After 15 July, this 7-day quarantine measure is lifted and will not be imposed on any traveller.
Air Tahiti Nui’s and the airports’ sanitary measures work towards limiting the spread of COVID-19. There are ground marking and signages in all waiting areas to indicate optimum physical distancing, besides the contact-less check-in counters.
Boarding Aircraft: Passenger boarding will be progressive. Depending on the infrastructure of the departure airport, the airline staff will commence passenger boarding from the front of the aircraft to the rear, or from the rear of the aircraft to the front. By sequencing boarding by calling each row of seats, the airline is aiming to avoid passengers milling in the aisles (something which no one likes, and especially now!).
Masks are compulsory for everyone at the airport. The wearing of a mask is required at airports and on board, for the duration of the flight for all passengers, excluding children under 11 years. Since wearing a mask is necessary for one’s own safety as well as of others around us, failure to comply onboard is considered an offense and will be subject to penalty. All the airline’s crew, whether onboard or on-ground, are equipped with surgical masks.
Air Tahiti Nui will be providing flyers with a complimentary health kit which contains 2 surgical masks, a bottle of disinfectant gel and wipes. To ensure proper hygiene in airports, gel dispensers are also available throughout the journey.
On-board hygiene is paramount – the procedures for cleaning and disinfecting devices and equipment is reinforced at the start and at the finish of each route using targeted coronavirus-specific measures. Thorough cleaning of aircraft cabins and strict supplier-side sanitary rules allow Air Tahiti Nui to limit contamination risks via on-board equipment and services.
During the flight, the crew have extra duties to clean and disinfect all common areas using a specially designed disinfectant. As a matter of fact, it’s a mandate that aircraft bathrooms will be cleaned every 30 minutes during the flight. Passengers are requested to limit moving around the cabin in order to maintain physical distance and cabin cleanliness.
The Air Tahiti Nui’s latest generation 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft are equipped with a high-performance air filtration system, effective for removing particles, bacteria and viruses. The cabin air flow does not circulate from one row to the other, and the air is renewed every 2-3 minutes.
This HVAC system is equipped with filters identical to those employed in hospitals and capture/ block up to 99.995% of bacteria and viruses floating in the cabin airspace. This air purification system guarantees a significant reduction in the risk of contamination by air on-board. However, as confident as the airline is, passengers will be asked to wear a mask for the entire duration of the flight.
The on-board catering offer has been simplified to limit contact as much as humanly possible. The aperitif and meal services are combined; meals are concentrated in a single tray service and provided at one go in all travel classes, including desserts for Poerava Business class. The choice of wines and drinks is also reduced with the same purpose: limiting interactions and serving time. Finally, special meal choices are also limited to facilitate on-board service.
For the same purpose, the magazines on board have been removed, excluding the safety card – modified for single use only. However, a selection of press and magazines, in-flight magazines and meal service menus can be viewed on our entertainment system. The duty-free service on board is suspended. However, this service remains available at the airport shop upon travellers’ arrival in Tahiti and Her Islands.
As much as an airline can do, Air Tahiti Nui has gone above and beyond the normal to embrace the ‘new normal’ – and so should we. The travel restrictions will soon ease, and we can be flying, travelling and exploring again. All we must do is to maintain social distancing, obey common sense rules about hygiene and staying safe. Plus, we have a cool new life-hack for travellers! When you’re out and about, make a conscious effort to not use your dominant hand for mundane tasks and touching surfaces. Because, we most often touch our faces, noses and eyes unconsciously, it’s safer when if we use our non-dominant hand to touch potentially infected surfaces. For example, if you’re right-handed, use your left hand for opening doors, touching lift panels, buttons, lifting objects, etc. Leave your right hand free for yes, scratching your nose and operating the phone! This won’t guarantee your safety against COVID-19, but trust us – it will go a long, long way to ensure we stay safe.
Putting its best foot forward,…
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