Initiatives Such As Etihad’s Home Testing “Can Rebuild Confidence”

Liz Fleming, Open Jaw

According to Mathew George, Ph.D., Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, Etihad Airways is making important strides toward rebuilding customer confidence and boosting business.  A newly announced collaboration with Mediclinic will allow for convenient home PCR testing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), enabling customers to have all the required documents when traveling to certain destinations. This, in combination with increased aircraft sanitation measures will prove significant, according to George.

“Etihad Airways’ new scheme will bring customers back and help rebuild confidence in air travel for customers, governments and staff on these aircraft. With increased safety and hygiene measures, reduction of capacity and facilities to deal with social distancing, airlines are now having to differentiate their offerings to highlight the safety of their services. 

"Creating that space where customers trust their airlines is a major exercise with companies often sharing videos and information on regular cleaning, sanitization and onboard filtration services being highlighted. While we will have to wait a bit more to see how these steps will change the offerings available to customers, it looks positive in the short-term. 

“Emirates has also taken some precautions by providing a complimentary travel hygiene kit containing gloves, a face mask, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, as well as requiring all its staff to wear PPE. According to GlobalData, 45% of Generation X in the UAE remain ‘extremely concerned’ about COVID-19. Generation X is more risk averse than younger generations due to greater concerns surrounding health and safety. Within this demographic, over a third of respondents ‘strongly agree’ they have had to change or cancel upcoming domestic (22%) and international (38%) plans. Providing PPE equipment, and giving access to and necessary insight and updates on measures to mitigate COVID-19 and ensure high standards of hygiene will benefit carriers in the coming months."

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