GoAir to board aircraft row-wise; start check-in 3 hours before flight time

NEW DELHI: Post-lockdown when schedule passenger flights resume, GoAir will open check-in counters three hours before departure time; board aircraft row-wise; keep middle seat vacant; stop onboard sales and make announcements asking passengers to minimise use of lavatories, the airline said on Wednesday.

As of now, flight could resume from May 4 but a final nod will be given by the authorities before that actually happens. IndiGo had earlier announced it will not have onboard sale of meals for some time. All airlines are acting to have social distancing at airport, coaches, aerobridges and ensure partially-filled aircraft.
In a statement, GoAir listed the measures “to protect its staff, crew, and passengers in preparation for a phase-wise commencement of flights from May 4. These fully incorporate all recommendations from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) along with some additional measures that the airline is taking.”

These include: Strict social distancing at the airport during check-in and boarding, and on the aerobridges and buses, including row-wise boarding and deboarding; check-in counters to open three hours prior to flight, and close an hour prior, to allow more time for sanitised processing of customers and baggage; ground time for aircraft between flights to be increased to allow for cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces that come into contact with crew or passengers in the cabin, galley, and lavatories and ensuring availability of hand sanitisers at all key touchpoints on the ground and in the aircraft.

“Social distancing on the aircraft to be enforced – all middle seats will be left empty so that no passenger will have an immediate neighbour. Reduction of inflight service to minimise non-essential interaction between passengers and crew – only water will be provided, there will be no meals or snack service. Suspension of all on-board sales. Clearance of seat pockets of all items except for safety card, which will be replaced or sanitised after each flight,” the airline said.

“Crew to wear face masks and gloves at all times when interacting with passengers and when in the aisles. Announcements will be made to minimise use of lavatories, and to avoid any non-essential movement in the aisles,” it added.

Passengers will be encouraged to print their boarding passes at home to minimise interactions at the airport.

GoAir CEO Vinay Dube said: “GoAir is in full preparation mode for a gradual commencement of flights from May 4, 2020. Nothing is more important to us at GoAir than the safety and well-being of our staff, crew and passengers. We are going above and beyond the government recommendations in an effort to ensure maximum health and safety measures are undertaken as we gradually emerge from this unimaginable and unprecedented global crisis.”

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