The world has changed. Only a few months ago passengers traveled with a carefree attitude, distracted with happy thoughts of sunshine and distant beaches. But now with the coronavirus lurking in the shadows, passengers have a very different thought on their minds.

Health security has become the principal priority of passengers today, overruling previous concerns such as excess baggage, flight delays and turbulence. Not only do airlines need to juggle previous customer touchpoints such as service and safety, but now they have to find a solution for health as well.

For airlines, facing this insurmountable reality of the global coronavirus crisis can feel like an enormous task and one without a clear answer. Thankfully, there are a few masterminded developments that may tackle this challenge head-on.

Eways Aviation has put together an up-to-date checklist of solutions that will help airline service and satisfy passengers without exposing them to harm.

Barrier screens for passengers

For instance, a cutting edge new seat design features a light-weight transparent screen between economy seats on an aircraft. The screens enable passengers to be socially isolated and simultaneously remain in a dense profitable configuration. Airlines won’t require to space out passengers and leave the middle seats empty in each row, nor will they need to reduce the passenger numbers onboard aircraft.

These screens are barriers to prevent the COVID virus from passing person to person via aerosol droplets (imagine coughing or sneezing). With the addition of the aircraft’s cabin environment refreshing during flight every three minutes and air cycled through hospital-grade filters, the virus’ cannot disseminate within the onboard environment.

Detecting coronavirus onboard aircraft

Airlines need to take on the mantle of responsibility by detecting possible unknown COVID-19 passengers through using non-invasive infrared sensors. These devices allow the flight crew to monitor the temperature of passengers, heart rate and respiratory rate without disturbance. With a blanket scan, the flight crew can have the confidence that they know the health and wellbeing of their passengers. If a passenger does have a chance to be ill or has the signs of an infection beginning, the flight crew can teleconference with specific personnel to make further investigations and take action.

Converting passenger aircraft into cargo carriers

Cargo has become incredibly lucrative for some airlines, and others a lifeline to survive this turbulent period. Airlines need a way to be able to adapt existing passenger-focused aircraft to take advantage of cargo operations.

One such way is to use cabin cargo device. This allows the aircraft to fill up empty seats with cargo packages without damaging the passenger interior nor extensively remove seating. This option allows an airline to transport passengers and cargo, and if needed, swap one out for the other. For some airlines who wish to run a cargo flight but lack the hold space, these certified devices efficiently double the carrying capacity (up to a maximum take-off weight of course!).

Social distance aircraft hand-overs

Social distancing has even found its way to the realm of aircraft hand-overs. Airbus has developed a new safe e-delivery protocol to deliver finished aircraft to its clients without having to put them at risk.

This new method has already been implemented by Pegasus Airlines, a Turkish low-cost-carrier for their new fleet of A320neo aircraft. It consisted of three stages, a technical acceptance completion, then an electronic transfer-of-title, and finally a ferry-flight with minimal personal and subsequent reception of the plane.

“This way Airbus eliminates the necessity of the customer’s team to be physically present at the Airbus Delivery Centre,” Airbus said in a press release, also mentioning that this new method may be used beyond the current crisis and into the future.

Bottom line

Technology improvements in the health security segment is rapidly providing new and elegant solutions to the coronavirus crisis. It is now up to the airlines to be first adopters of these innovations, and Eways Aviation is ready to take the journey with you.