Samoa Airways disinfects aircraft
Samoa Airways has moved to clean and disinfect their aircraft after every single flight in efforts to limit the spreading of the coronavirus.
The Samoa Airways Chief Executive Officer, Seiuli Alvin Tuala, responded to questions on Friday about measures taken to protect the carrier’s flight crew.
The airline was also queried on whether or not they have attempted to contact passengers and people the suspected case might have been exposed to during the flight. They did not respond.
Samoa’s first suspected coronavirus case flew into the country on Samoa Airways last week Wednesday, March 11. The country is awaiting the results of tests currently being conducted in New Zealand.
The question about the crew’s safety was raised as Fiji's first coronavirus case is a flight attendant on that country’s national airline.
The national airline chief said that Samoa Airway’s response to the spread of the illness has progressed as the situation elevates and will continue to do so while following guidance provided by public health agencies.
“Samoa Airways prioritises the safety of both our customers and airline staff. The company is following guidance provided by public health agencies to help protect our crew members and passengers against potential exposure to [the coronavirus]” said Seiuli.
“Our aircraft is cleaned and disinfected with cleaning agents that are recommended by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) before and after every flight (including turnarounds) by our cleaning crew who are wearing extra protective gear.”
Personal protective gear and disinfectants have been provided to the cabin crew to wipe down all surfaces as often as possible.
In the case of preventing further spread of Covid-19, the airline is said to already have procedures in place should a passenger be identified as ill during a flight.
“Our senior cabin crew members are trained to identify symptoms of Covid-19 and will act immediately to inform the captain, isolate the potentially affected passenger and apply extra disinfectant where needed,” Seiuli said.
“Ground agents, quarantine and in extreme cases, the paramedics, are notified prior to meeting them upon landing. We are working actively with our government and health agencies to protect our country against infection and help prepare for any emergency response should it become necessary.”
For affected existing passengers, the Samoa Airways has offered that no cancellation or transfer fees will be charged.
They may also change their bookings to the next available flight without any fees or fare differential up until 11th Apr, 2020.
The airline website specifies that a date change waiver will be permitted for new travel dates up till 30th June, 2020. All changes and rebooking must be done 48 hours in advance of the original dates booked.
An option to transfer the full ticket value to a credit voucher to be held for further travel on Samoa Airways services valid for 12 months from the purchase date of the original ticket is also an available option.