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Dafey

Airlines face tough task to encourage people to fly

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Dafey
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MANILA, Philippines — Aside from dealing with mounting losses and potential bankruptcy, airlines are facing a formidable challenge of encouraging people that it is safe to fly again once commercial flights are allowed to resume.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) president and COO Gilbert Santa Maria believes the airline industry is more prepared than most industries in dealing with health issues like the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

“We are better prepared than most industries to handle things like this. If you wear a mask and you’re in an aircraft, it is the same as being in an operating room. That’s how clean the air is. It recycles every three minutes. The air is from the outside, and at 30,000 feet there’s almost no likelihood of having any viruses survive,” Santa Maria said.

“So we know the air in a plane is clean. We want to build confidence in flying again. And we will take precautions,” he said.

The flag carrier is raring to get its fleet off the ground the soonest, with plans to operate a few domestic routes from Davao to possibly Iloilo, Siargao and General Santos given the easing of quarantine restrictions in those areas.

PAL’s domestic flights to or from Manila, Cebu and Clark, however, will remain cancelled for the rest of the month.

Budget carriers Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines, meanwhile, said all their flights would stay suspended until May 31.

As they prepare for their eventual take-off, local carriers have given their assurance that new sanitation protocols and intensified preventive measures will be in place when people return to traveling by air.

These include contactless transactions via self check-in kiosks at airports, physical distancing at check-in and boarding queues, mandatory temperature scanning and mandatory use of face masks.

Aside from thorough disinfection after each flight, PAL, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia said their aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor (HEPA) filters that are capable of filtering microscopic bacteria and virus clusters, similar to what is used in hospital operating rooms.

But amid all the safety measures, the carriers themselves believe that getting air travel demand back to pre-pandemic level would be a tall order, especially in the beginning.

Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) executive director Roberto Lim said local airlines still expect to have many unfilled seats. “When we start operations on when that may be, we believe that demand will be low. And because the demand is low, the airlines will have the ability to spread the seating arrangement inside the aircraft. That’s how we anticipate,” Lim said.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement early this month that evidence, although limited, suggests that the risk of virus transmission on board aircraft is low even without special measures.

IATA said mask-wearing by passengers and crew would reduce the already low risk, while avoiding the dramatic cost increases to air travel that onboard social distancing measures would bring.

“Airlines are obsessed with safety. We have to maintain international safety standards, and the fact that the aircraft have HEPA filters that capture viruses, is an artifact of decades of trying to prevent contagion from spreading on board a narrow tube,” Santa Maria said.

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/travel/news/airlines-face-tough-task-to-encourage-people-to-fly/ar-BB14d57T?ocid=spartandhp

 

 

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TimL

Well, hopefully PAL will quit gouging people $200 for a flight from Cebu to Manila like they are currently doing for sweeper flights. Dropping the carry on weight from 7kg to 2kg that I read about the other day  isn’t going to help their cause either. 

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Dafey
1 hour ago, TimL said:

hopefully PAL will quit gouging people $200 for a flight from Cebu to Manila

I would expect seat prices to go up to pay for the lower availability of seats and the inevitable rise in fuel prices when people start traveling again.

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profits101

This was the PAL "Keeping You Safe Always" message I got from them. I got that on May 9, a time when I think they had flying again in sight, but has now pulled back. It's quite thorough. A grey area, relative to the comment about pricing and seating, is "Passengers can look forward to Social Distancing cabin seating options." No idea what that means. And Gilbert Santa Maria's assertion that "at 30,000 feet there’s almost no likelihood of having any viruses survive," sounds nice, but I'd think if they had a study that said that they'd be pushing it forward. Ditto that for US airlines, I've never seen this kind of verbiage. Meanwhile, Warren Buffet has sold out of all of his airline holdings in the USA. I read the other day that one US airline previously had 200 scheduled routes and were only using 20. I expect a bankruptcy or two among US airlines. No doubt PAL is worried. 

I always wonder why they don't seem teamed up with the Dept of Tourism, as well as the Bureau of Immigration. To me, as long as they are in the instilling new confidence phase and trying to generate good buzz, they would get a lot of mileage (ha) from kowtowing just a little bit to foreigners. 

My personal bottomline, I want to get out of Cebu and go to Bacolod - we'll go see family in Negros. It's a quick, easy flight - barely more than 40 minutes. It will be interesting to see how it goes this time but easy to compare as I have done that one at least 20 times. I'm not that worried about it, and have zero hesitation to book it.

To our valued passengers:

We at Philippine Airlines hope you are safe and well during these unprecedented times. As we get ready to fly again, we're adding more safety measures to protect you. In line with the highest standards, here is what you can expect to ensure that you enjoy a healthy, safe, and clean environment on your next PAL flight.

Before the Flight

All passengers must bring their own face mask to use at the airport and throughout the flight. Infants up to 2 years old are exempted. We allow surgical, ear loop, or do-it-yourself masks, as well as other protective shielding, except for flights to/from countries with specific requirements.

We encourage passengers to bring their own sanitizers and their onboard travel essentials. You may bring hand sanitizers with maximum content of 70% alcohol, up to 10 pcs of 100mL as part of carry-on.

All carry-on items must be limited to 2kgs of small personal items. We will transfer 5kgs from your carry-on bag allowance to your check-in baggage allocation.

Online check-in is encouraged. We urge passengers to arrive early at the airport: 4 hours prior to departure from Manila (International flights) and 3 hours prior to departure for Manila (Domestic flights) and other airports.

Point of Booking

All ticket offices will have thermal scanning, managed social distancing, and transparent counter barriers. Our service personnel will be equipped with face masks and gloves. We will implement a no-mask-no-entry policy in our ticket offices.

At the Airport

We will do our best to enforce social distancing while passengers are waiting, on-queue, or inside PAL shuttle buses. Passengers can expect thermal scans at entry points, distribution of locator forms that they would need to fill up, sanitizers available at designated areas, and other security checks. Our airport staff will be equipped with face masks. Passengers must also wear their face mask all the time.

Mabuhay Lounge

All PAL Mabuhay Lounges will have sanitizing floor mats at the entry points. Meals will be served in sealed packaging, while beverages will be served on-demand. Hand sanitizers will be available. All lounge staff will likewise wear protective gear.

Inside the Aircraft

PAL's entire fleet of aircraft will continue to undergo rigorous cabin cleaning and disinfection. All contact surfaces are wiped down using stronger cleaning agents and our HEPA filters are maintained regularly.

During the Flight

Inflight Service: Our cabin crew will wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They will practice a simplified inflight service approach that minimizes frequent contact.

Meals: We will continue to follow strict Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures when preparing inflight meals. Meals and snacks will continue to be in sanitized containers or secure packaging.

Seating: Passengers can look forward to Social Distancing cabin seating options.

Please note that this list may be updated regularly. Detailed guidelines on all passenger requirements, as well as updates on our flight schedules can be found by clicking the link below:

We are working for the eventual full restoration of our flights, subject to the status of local and international regulations. Rest assured that your health and safety is always our first and most important concern.  

We look forward to seeing you again on board soon.  


Mabuhay!

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jaybee747
34 minutes ago, profits101 said:

I always wonder why they don't seem teamed up with the Dept of Tourism, as well as the Bureau of Immigration. To me, as long as they are in the instilling new confidence phase and trying to generate good buzz, they would get a lot of mileage (ha) from kowtowing just a little bit to foreigners. 

Yea right, "Welcome, it is more fun in the Philippines, enjoy your mandatory 14-day stay in a government-designated quarantine facility upon arrival"...

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Buko Beach
2 hours ago, Dafey said:

I would expect seat prices to go up to pay for the lower availability of seats and the inevitable rise in fuel prices when people start traveling again.

Bingo! Airlines are leaning towards leaving the middle seats empty on 3-3 cabin configuration to comply with social distancing regulations. Guess who will pay for the empty seat..... the other passengers. Airfares are expected to rise 50-200%....meal and drinks eliminated on short-haul flights... cabin baggage reductions for long-haul and eliminated for many short-haul flights. 

Welcome to the new normal. 

 

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Salty Dog
12 minutes ago, Buko Beach said:

Bingo! Airlines are leaning towards leaving the middle seats empty on 3-3 cabin configuration to comply with social distancing regulations. Guess who will pay for the empty seat..... the other passengers...

So should they do it out of the goodness of their heart? It's not like flying is essential. No one made me fly to the Philippines. I could easily spend the rest of my life without having to get on an aircraft… 

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Dafey
2 hours ago, Buko Beach said:

cabin baggage reductions for long-haul and eliminated for many short-haul flights. 

I'm still don't understand the thinking on the baggage thing

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lamoe
24 minutes ago, Dafey said:

I'm still don't understand the thinking on the baggage thing

The airlines says it to reduce operating expenses in fuel cost.  Actually it's to charge more for excess baggage.
 

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https://traveltips.usatoday.com/weight-restrictions-airlines-108799.html

Carry-On Baggage

Most airlines permit you to carry on a bag and a personal item. Each airline sets its own weight restrictions, but domestic carriers such as Delta and U.S. Airways allow carry-on luggage that weighs up to 40 pounds. There are other size restrictions to pay attention to. The overhead bins and space under the seats will not accommodate baggage that is too large. Look for signs at the check-in counter and at the gate that show you the acceptable dimensions of carry-on luggage. If your bag weighs more than 40 pounds, the airline could require you to check it.

"FAA Weight Averages

The Federal Aviation Administration sets an average weight per traveler and carry-on luggage to estimate how much weight planes will carry. According to "The New York Times," the average weight assigned to each passenger by the FAA is 200 pounds for men, 179 pounds for women and 76 pounds for children under 13. These estimates include 16 pounds per person of carry-on luggage and averages in the weight of winter and summer clothing."

 

 

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East Saxon

We are better prepared than most industries to handle things like this. If you wear a mask and you’re in an aircraft, it is the same as being in an operating room. That’s how clean the air is. It recycles every three minutes. The air is from the outside, and at 30,000 feet there’s almost no likelihood of having any viruses survive,” Santa Maria said.

Is this true,  It is really from outside? 

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lamoe
2 hours ago, East Saxon said:

We are better prepared than most industries to handle things like this. If you wear a mask and you’re in an aircraft, it is the same as being in an operating room. That’s how clean the air is. It recycles every three minutes. The air is from the outside, and at 30,000 feet there’s almost no likelihood of having any viruses survive,” Santa Maria said.

Is this true,  It is really from outside? 

Kind of - "On all modern aircraft, passengers and crew breathe a mixture of fresh and recirculated air."

https://www.askthepilot.com/questionanswers/cabin-air-quality/

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Dafey
3 hours ago, East Saxon said:

We are better prepared than most industries to handle things like this. If you wear a mask and you’re in an aircraft, it is the same as being in an operating room. That’s how clean the air is. It recycles every three minutes. The air is from the outside, and at 30,000 feet there’s almost no likelihood of having any viruses survive,” Santa Maria said.

Is this true,  It is really from outside? 

They can pump air in from outside or recycle the air. Pilot's choice. My guess is that it takes more energy to heat the outside air as it is 50 below zero F at altitude so to save energy recycling would be the first choice. Also, they have to pressurize that air so again, more energy needed. 

The cabin air is pumped in at the front of the cabin and moves toward the rear of the aircraft so the purest air or most filtered is forward. After that it is pushed into the cargo hold. There are a few aircraft that are reverse of that but not many. The only one that comes to mind are the old British Aircraft Corporation.

Finally, the air at 30K feet is not necessarily cleaner than air on the ground. Think about pollution and ash from volcanoes that make it to the jet-stream.

The good news is the filtration systems are pretty good...if the airline cleans their filters regularly, which again saves fuel/energy so is in their best interest.

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cookie47

 

An interesting article regarding Qantas in Australia and it's position on flights expected to return in June.However "assuming"....it gets government approval no social distancing  ONCE ON BOARD... and as stated in other parts of this thread it supports the premis that filtration is adequate.

🤔..

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.abc.net.au/article/12263242

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SkyMan
On 5/19/2020 at 9:00 AM, Dafey said:

“We are better prepared than most industries to handle things like this. If you wear a mask and you’re in an aircraft, it is the same as being in an operating room. That’s how clean the air is. It recycles every three minutes. The air is from the outside, and at 30,000 feet there’s almost no likelihood of having any viruses survive,” Santa Maria said.

I would believe that if they allowed smoking on flights and nobody complained.

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