The global pandemic has deeply shaken the airline industry as demand for air travel collapsed following border closures and travel restrictions. The International Air Transport Association predicts that the COVID-19 crisis will cost airlines over $157 billion during 2020 and 2021.
As a result, airlines around the world have had to adjust their operations to reduce the spread of the virus before, during and after flights. This includes introducing face mask policies, temperature checks and even medical insurance that covers COVID-19.
In May 2020, Safe Travel Technologies launched the Safe Travel Barometer to monitor how airlines, airports, travel companies as well as popular destinations are responding to COVID-19. They track over 230 airlines and assess how well they perform across 26 different health and safety protocols. Airlines are then given a Safe Travel Score from a low of 1.0 to a high of 5.0.
“The Middle Eastern carriers played a central role during the global repatriation efforts through this pandemic.” Virendra Jain, co-founder and CEO of Safe Travel Barometer
era. examined how flag carriers across the MENA scored according to Safe Travel Barometer. Included in the table below are how each airline scored as well as how they perform across five different health and safety initiatives.
How Middle East and North Africa Airlines Performed
Overall, four regional flag carriers scored above 4.0 and all scored above 3.0. However, there were no scores for Kuwait Airways, EgyptAir and Air Algérie listed in the data. Safe Travel Barometer says this is because these three airlines were only recently added to their platform and are yet to be assigned a score.
Both Emirates and Qatar Airways are the region’s top-performing flag carriers with scores of 4.4. Safe Travel Barometer praised Emirates in October for its in-flight safety measures, such as providing face masks, face shields and hand sanitizer. In addition, its aircraft are sanitized before, after and in-between flights.
Taking its precautions one step further, Emirates provides all its passengers with free 14-day COVID-19 insurance. In addition, the airline made headlines in July by even offering to cover funeral expenses in the event of a passenger death from COVID-19.
Similar to Emirates, Qatar Airways provides passengers with face protection as well as regularly cleans its aircraft during operations.
Speaking about how regional airlines performed, Virendra Jain, co-founder and CEO of Safe Travel Barometer said, “the Middle Eastern carriers played a central role during the global repatriation efforts through this pandemic. Naturally, they pioneered a number of safety initiatives and friendly booking policies to gain a competitive edge over competition. Their safety and service initiatives are often positioned with a hospitality-orientation so as to build confidence among travelers, which is a major differentiator compared to carriers from other regions.”
The Safe Travel Scores of MENA Airlines
|Airline||Country||Safe Travel Score (1-5)||Disinfection Frequency||Thermal Screenings||Face Masks||Health Declaration Form||Staff Face Masks|
|Emirates||🇦🇪||4.4||After Every Flight||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Qatar Airways||🇶🇦||4.4||After Every Flight||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Etihad Airways||🇦🇪||4.3||After Every Flight||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Oman Air||🇴🇲||4.1||After Every Flight||Yes||Bring Your Own||Yes||Yes|
|Saudia||🇸🇦||3.9||After Every Flight||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Turkish Airlines||🇹🇷||3.8||After Every Flight||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Royal Jordanian||🇯🇴||3.8||After Every Flight||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Gulf Air||🇧🇭||3.8||Once a Day||Yes||Bring Your Own||Yes||Yes|
|Middle East Airlines||🇱🇧||3.6||After Every Flight||Yes||Bring Your Own||Yes||Yes|
|Royal Air Moroc||🇲🇦||3.4||Once a Day||Yes||Bring Your Own||Yes||Yes|
|Iran Air||🇮🇷||3.3||Multiple Times a Day||No||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Kuwait Airways||🇰🇼||No Score Yet||After Every Flight||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|EgyptAir||🇪🇬||No Score Yet||Multiple Times a Day||Yes||Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Air Algérie||🇩🇿||No Score Yet||Multiple Times a Day||Yes||Bring Your Own||No||Yes|
For more COVID-19 coverage check out…
- How Abu Dhabi Plans To Ship 18bn COVID-19 Vaccines
- Egyptian Trials Robot That Can Test For COVID-19
- 2.3 million Egyptians lost their jobs since the COVID-19 outbreak
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