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Reopen economies to spur global recovery — Emirates Country Manager

BY: Maclean Kwofie
Ms Cathrine Wesley
Ms Cathrine Wesley

The ongoing global vaccination programme against the COVID-19 will help return the air travel industry to profitability by 2022, an international airline operator, Emirates Airlines has predicted.

The airline operator reposed confidence in the process, stating that once the vaccines were rolled out at speed and scale, there would be a lot of movement and demand would also increase to put the industry on the recovery path.

Emirates has, therefore, called for the complete reopening of other economies for a substantial recovery to happen, given the interconnectedness of the world economy.

“We still have a way to go before we get back to profitability and we hope this happens by 2022 as the global vaccination programme’s impact really begins to kick in,” Emirates Country Manager, Ghana  and Cote d’Ivoire, Ms Cathrine Wesley, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

Context

The interview sought to gauge preparations conglomerates including airliners were doing to stay afloat the challenges imposed by the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.

The discussion also explored practical measures on the ground to ensure the safety of people, crew, airport staff, as well as other value chain operators in a COVID-19 era.

We’re doing right things

“We are doing all the right things to get back on a good footing such as scale up our cargo operations to meet global demand, controlling our costs along with a host of other measures to be ready once recovery kicks in,” Ms Wesley said.

Comprehensive measures

The Emirates country manager said the airline had implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air.

The measures include the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers.

“Cabin crew on board are fully kitted out in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To uphold the highest standards of safety and hygiene, Emirates has added a Cabin Service Assistant (CSA) to the crew complement on flights over 1.5 hours to ensure lavatories are cleaned at frequent intervals of every 45 minutes,” she stated.

All the ailine’s aircrafts were also deep-cleaned in Dubai and also went through an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process after every trip, she added.

Integrated biometric path

Last October, the airline launched an integrated biometric path, as well as contactless self-check-in kiosks at the Dubai International Airport (DXB).

That means that a passenger could check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge and board their flights simply by strolling through the airport, she added.

“The various touchpoints in the biometric path allow for a hygienic contactless travel journey, reducing human interaction and putting emphasis on health and safety,” Ms Wesley explained.

The airline also introduced the industry’s first multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover at no cost to customers.

COVID-19 PCR test

She, however, stressed that all passengers bound for Dubai from any port of origin must hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate received no more than 72 hours before departure.

“This policy is also in place for passengers transiting through Dubai from over 60 countries, including Ghana.

“In addition, passengers travelling into Dubai from over 55 countries are required to take another COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival,” Ms Wesley explained.