Emirates has begun testing passengers due to board its flights for Covid-19.
Passengers departing Dubai for Tunisia on April 15 were the first to go through the testing process, which is being carried out in co-ordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
Emirates says it is the first airline to conduct on-site blood tests, which were conducted at the group check-in area of terminal 3 of Dubai International, and said results were available to passengers within 10 minutes.
Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer, said: “The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. This would have not been possible without the support of Dubai Airport and other government authorities.
We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”
Humaid Al Qutami, director general of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: “We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travellers. To tackle COVID-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organisations and the private health sector and we have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to provision of high-quality health services in line with the latest international guidelines. We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organisations.”
Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk. Gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.
Passengers are required to wear their own masks at the airport and on board the aircraft, and follow social distancing guidelines.
Emirates has modified its inflight services to comply. Magazines and other print reading material will not be available; food and drink will be available but packaging modified to reduce contact; no cabin baggage is currently allowed and carry-on items are limited to laptops, handbags, briefcases or baby items.
All Emirates aircraft will go through an “enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes” in Dubai after each journey.