In further response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Canada is introducing a comprehensive new program for personal safety and enhanced aircraft cleaning.
Air Canada CleanCare+ will roll out by May 15, 2020. It includes:
- Infra-red temperature check of all customers travelling on Air Canada flights at all airports: Air Canada is the first airline in the Americas to announce such measures system-wide. The non-invasive procedure will complement the existing government-mandated health questionnaire currently completed by all travellers to determine their fitness to fly. Customers who are deemed unfit to travel will be rebooked at no cost but be required to obtain medical clearance prior to travel.
- More personal space in Economy Class aboard its aircraft: Air Canada will automatically block the sale of adjacent seats and cap the total number of seats sold for each flight. As a result, no customer in Economy Class will be required to sit immediately adjacent to another, unless they are required to do so to assist another customer with whom they are travelling. This policy will remain in effect until at least June 30, 2020.
- Distribution of care kits containing hand sanitizers and other health items to all customers.
- Air Canada has already been recognized by the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards for Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America. With the onset of COVID-19 the airline has strengthened its cabin grooming standards and will begin using state-of-the-art electrostatic sprayers to ensure a deeper clean with hospital grade disinfectant.
“While we are eager to see the reopening of economies and the restart of commercial aviation, the safety of our customers and employees is Air Canada’s core value and we aim to establish the highest standards of hygiene, cleanliness and attention to public health guidelines. We have been a leader in progressively introducing new measures in response to COVID-19, such as introducing Personal Protective Equipment for our employees and being the first North American carrier to require face coverings for customers,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO, Air Canada. “We are now the first airline in the Americas to administer pre-flight temperature checks system-wide. With Air Canada CleanCare+, we are introducing a comprehensive new program to give each customer added assurance for their well-being throughout all stages of their journey—and we intend to continue enhancing Air Canada CleanCare+ where we can with best practices from around the world, including increased use of screening tools, such as blood oxygen level testing, as they become available.
“Air Canada CleanCare+ will not only provide protections at the personal level, by better monitoring our customers’ fitness to fly and providing for more personal space in Economy Class, but it also sets new standards for cabin cleanliness and ensures our employees have the best tools to maintain it. Coupled with other new safety practices we implemented earlier in response to COVID-19, Air Canada CleanCare+ will provide travellers with the confidence that they can book and fly safely with Air Canada as they consider their travel plans in the current environment.”
Prior to Air Canada CleanCare+, Air Canada had already taken a number of measures in response to COVID-19. These will remain in effect and be included in the Air Canada CleanCare+ Program:
- Requiring customers to wear face coverings during their travel, including at check-in, during boarding and as directed while onboard its aircraft.
- Protocols for the use of Personal Protective Equipment by employees, including face shields and coverings, gloves and gowns by in-flight crew, along with other safety measures to encourage physical distancing, such as a revised boarding procedure and a new onboard service program.
- To reduce personal interactions and promote physical distancing, Air Canada has adapted its check-in procedures. This includes making available on its self-serve web and mobile check-in and airport kiosk platforms government entry requirements, the mandatory health questionnaire and other relevant information. Air Canada is also working with airports on additional protective and sanitary measures.
- Temporary adjustments to on-board service such as individual water bottles instead of bar service offerings and the removal of pillows and blankets. Air Canada enRoute and other non-safety literature have been removed from all seatback pockets. Air Canada partnered with a third-party company that monitors infectious diseases all over the world using Artificial Intelligence and other predictive tools and provides the company with information in real-time to ensure it is equipped to make appropriate and timely decisions.
- For customers who have already purchased tickets and are looking to change their travel, Air Canada has revised its booking policies so there is no change or cancellation fee for existing or new bookings. Additionally, for customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the impacts of COVID-19, they can retain the unused amount of their ticket for up to 24 months.
For more information on Air Canada’s pandemic response including information about its policies and schedule, please see https://www.aircanada.com/covid19updates