During the pandemic, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline, was the go-to airline for essential travel, repatriation flights, and airlift of medical and personal protective equipment (PPE).
With the easing of travel restrictions across the globe, Ethiopian is welcoming back business and leisure travellers with programs aimed at safeguarding their health and safety.
The program reinforces Ethiopian Airlines’ pledge to protect the health and safety of its customers and staff.
It includes the steps the airline is taking to maintain customer and staff wellbeing through-out the service chain beginning from the first interaction with customers during ticketing/reservation and up to arrival at destination.
Tewolde Gebremariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian, noted that “Ethiopian is proud to be there when the world needed it most–repatriating citizens, reuniting families, facilitating essential travel and transporting much needed medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health professionals and the general public under very difficult and challenging circumstances.
“We are proud to be an integral part of the fight against COVID-19. Now we want to play a leading role in the new normal. To a very large extent, it’s about getting back the confidence of business and leisure travelers.
“With the protective measures we are taking in line with CDC, IATA, ICAO, and WHO guidelines, customers and staff can rest assured that their safety and health are well looked after when flying with us.”
Customers are, however, advised to check travel restrictions of destination countries prior to arriving at the airport for a flight. Facemasks will be mandatory for travel. Except for children under the age of 2, all customers must keep their masks on throughout their journey.
All ET customer-facing staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). This includes ticket offices, airport and lounge staff, as well as cabin crew. On-board service is redesigned to minimize contact while maintaining our African flavoured Ethiopian hospitality. Items, such as magazines, menus, and other reading materials that were traditionally shared will no longer be available.
According to the airline, customers holding tickets purchased before August 31, 2020, and valid for travel until September 30, 2020, can rest assured that their tickets will be valid until 31 December 2021.
Customers who have exchanged their tickets for vouchers can utilize the vouchers within one year.
It is essential that customers satisfy destination entry requirements such as health certificates and fill health declaration forms if required.
Customers feeling unwell are strongly encouraged not to travel and travel only when feeling well. The airline has indicated that unwell customers will not be allowed to enter the airport and will be denied boarding a flight. All Ethiopian aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to departing from the hub, and at turnaround stations.
At the airport, enhanced health screenings, including temperature checks, are expected to be conducted. To ensure adequate social distancing, markings are placed through-out the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport terminal building and hand sanitisers will be available for use.
Passengers must check in their cabin baggage. They’re allowed to bring onboard only essential items such as laptops, handbags, briefcases, and baby items. All checked-in bags will be sanitised before being loaded onto the aircraft.
To reduce contact between customers, boarding will be done in an orderly manner by seat-rows starting from the back of the aircraft towards the front.
In business class, complimentary hygiene kits that include masks, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer will be provided. In economy masks, hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes will be available on demand. “Comfort items” such as pillows, blankets, headphones, and toys are hygienically sealed. On-board lavatories will also be sanitized frequently during the flight.
Menu’s, Magazines and newspapers will, however, not be available onboard. Crew are trained to handle flight operations in a COVID-19 travel world.
As countries continue to open their borders and relax travel restrictions, Ethiopian is ready to increase frequencies to accommodate the demand by focusing on the wellbeing of customers and staff. Ethiopian is happy to welcome back business and leisure travellers.