Compulsory face masks, no meals on domestic flights - Air France on future travel by air

06 May 2020 - 16:07 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Air France has given an indication of measures that will be introduced when flights resume.
Air France has given an indication of measures that will be introduced when flights resume.
Image: 123RF / Travnikovstudio

Air France on Wednesday revealed some of the measures it intended putting in place when flights resume, providing insight into what awaits passengers now grounded by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“In line with instructions from the French government making the wearing of a mask compulsory on public transport, Air France will ask its customers to wear a mask throughout their journey when flights resume,” the airline said in a statement.

Customers would be notified of the decision via communication channels before departure and would be asked to ensure they possessed one or more masks for their trip, said the airline. 

Face masks would remain compulsory until further notice.

“This is in addition to the measures implemented by Air France and its partners in response to the Covid-19 health crisis, which include:

  • The compulsory wearing of masks for all crew members and agents in contact with customers

  • The modification of customer channels on the ground, with the implementation of physical distancing along the customer journey at the airport and the installation of Plexiglas protection screens at airports each time it is possible

  • The implementation of physical distancing on board where possible. On most flights, the current low load factors make it possible to separate customers as required. In cases where this is not possible, requiring all passengers and crew to wear masks ensures adequate health protection

  • The reinforcement of daily aircraft cleaning procedures, with the disinfection of all surfaces in contact with customers such as armrests, tables and screens

  • The introduction of a specific procedure for the periodic disinfecting of aircraft by spraying an approved virucidal product effective for 10 days

  • Adapting in-flight service to limit interaction between customers and crew members. On domestic flights and short flights in Europe, meal and beverage services have been suspended. On long-haul flights, cabin service is limited and preference is given to individually wrapped products.

Air France said the air in the cabin of aircraft was renewed every three minutes and that viruses, ranging in size from 0.08 to 0.16 micrometres, were filtered through the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.

“Air France reminds passengers that the health and safety of customers and staff is an absolute priority. All the airline's teams are fully mobilised to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for its customers and to ensure they travel in complete confidence.”

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines also announced that it would ask customers to wear a mask throughout their journey when their flights resume. Passengers would be responsible for providing their own face masks.