Extraordinary circumstances require innovative solutions.
With the airline industry all but grounded by the pandemic, Emirates has led the way with a ground-breaking 10-minute Covid19 blood test which is carried out at the airport prior to departure, ensuring that all of their passengers are free from the virus as they travel. They have also pioneered a pre-travel postal test too. At Solmedia, we are proud to be working with point of care providers to supply some of the consumable products necessary to carry out the testing procedure.
Working in conjunction with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), tests have been conducted on Emirates passengers at Dubai airport since April, with further testing facilities due to roll out in other locations for flights into the UAE in due course. This is particularly important for travellers needing a Covid19 test certificate and could prove useful for UK passengers if the current quarantine regulations continue to frustrate travel across Europe.
HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of the DHA said, ‘To tackle Covid19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organisations and [also] the private health sector. We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with public and private sector organisations.’
Nick Wallach, Sales Director at Solmedia, agreed. ‘We have had to work in a fast-changing environment to make sure everything is in place for this kind of rapid response to the crisis. We have done everything we can to make things happen and give 100% support to the initiative.’
Of course, testing has only been part of the story for Emirates. The airline’s check-in and boarding formalities have also been adapted, and gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport. Magazines and other print reading material will not be available in-flight, and while food and beverages will continue to be offered on board, packaging and presentation will be modified to minimise the risk of infection. Cabin baggage has been reduced to a bare minimum and all Emirates aircraft will go through an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process after each journey.
What is becoming clear is that this kind of belt-and-braces approach can help to release airlines from the vice-like grip Covid19 has inflicted on their operations. It is likely to be only a matter of time before a pre-flight blood test will be as customary as Duty Free shopping…