Air France COVID-19 Safety Rating is upgraded to 5-Star status
by Skytrax: London, UK
Air France COVID-19 Safety Rating has been upgraded to 5-Star following the latest in-depth analysis, with the airline becoming one of just eleven airlines in the world to currently achieve this top recognition and the fourth member of the SkyTeam alliance to be accredited at the highest COVID-19 Safety level. Air France is the first major European airline to achieve the 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating.
After an in-depth re-evaluation, the COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating for Air France has been upgraded to 5-Star rating status, recognising a range of improvements that the carrier has made to customer and staff protection measures during the first half of 2021. The Skytrax COVID-19 Safety Rating is regarded as a global benchmark for evaluating COVID-19 safe travel.
The audit inspections were conducted in June 2021 and assessed all relevant health and hygiene measures introduced by Air France in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The audit evaluates frontline facilities and service systems to determine if the procedures are effective and consistent, and this was carried out for the airline’s home base in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The audit also integrates analysis of the airline’s implementation of health, hygiene, and safety measures in accordance with the recommendations of the ICAO Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Aviation Health Safety Protocol.
“We are proud to obtain this 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating which once again recognizes the immense efforts made by Air France teams on a daily basis to guarantee the implementation of our Air France Protect programme. It is also an additional incentive to pursue our efforts to ensure our customers travel with complete peace of mind,” stated Fabien Pelous, SVP Air France Customer Experience.
Air France has continued to operate a significant portion of its network throughout the pandemic and has introduced a broad range of risk reduction measures as part of its “Air France Protect” programme. The airline has gone above and beyond expectations to reinforce COVID-19 customer guidance in its Paris CDG hub, which was a large factor in applying the upgraded rating.
Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said: “Air France has worked extremely hard during the recent months to assess the audit findings and improve the areas that were lacking the necessary consistency to achieve the 5-Star rating. As a global airline, Air France welcomes customers from a large variety of countries, all of which have varying experiences of the pandemic for factors such as face mask use, social distancing, hand hygiene, and the numerous elements of pre-travel administration for COVID tests, passenger locator and health forms. In response to this, Air France has reinforced pre-travel information, airport management, and passenger handling protocols, in addition to robust hygiene and sanitisation protocols for its airport lounges and onboard cabins.”
By cooperating with Paris CDG Airport, Air France has added new COVID signage and sanitisers in the check-in area and improved distancing management for customers and staff. Self-check-in units now operate contactlessly, and passengers may also use self-bag-drop units.
Air France Salons provide no-touch entry, and reception staff remind customers to use the sanitiser facilities and guide guests to the quieter areas of the lounges. Reading materials are available electronically for use on personal devices, and Air France continues to provide staff service for buffet foods. Hand sanitisers and PPE disposal points have been expanded in each location.
The airline has reintroduced much of the pre-COVID dining product on most flights, and customers also receive hygiene items on long-haul and short-haul routes. Safe delivery and clearance systems are used in all cabins, and Air France has strengthened boarding and deplaning protocols to ensure safe distancing.
ATP testing was conducted by Skytrax on frequently touched contact surfaces in the airport and onboard flights, and the results confirmed a high standard of disinfection and sanitisation processes.
The evaluation encompasses all airport and onboard cleanliness actions, cleaning and disinfection procedures, standard and usage conformity of staff PPE, COVID-19 signage and information, the application of social distancing, hand sanitiser facilities, PA guidance, organisation and control of passenger flows, monitoring face mask usage and adapted service systems in the airport and onboard flights.
ABOUT AIR FRANCE
Since 1933, Air France has been promoting and highlighting France throughout the world. With an activity divided between passenger transport, cargo transport and aeronautical maintenance, Air France is a major air transport player. More than 42,000 staff that make up its workforce are committed on a daily basis to offering each customer a unique travel experience. Air France places the health and safety of its customers and staff at the heart of its priorities and, from the start of the health crisis, introduced exceptional measures, grouped together under the Air France Protect label, to ensure a stress-free trip.
The 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating confirms excellent airport processing standards that considers all practical elements of contactless technology, customer handling, and social distancing protocols for check-in, boarding, and arrival. Airline lounges meet a high standard of cleanliness procedures and consistency, with good measures in place that facilitate social distancing, and safe delivery systems for food and beverages. Onboard cleanliness and cabin presentation is at an excellent quality level and may use new techniques for UV sanitisation, and mass disinfectant treatments. The onboard service systems for catering are adapted for COVID-19 times, with reduced contact delivery and enhanced food safety measures for meal presentation.
Skytrax, the International air transport rating organisation, was established in 1989 and is based in London, United Kingdom. The World Airline Rating programme is a leading international Rating system operating since 1999, which classifies airlines by the quality of product and staff service. In 2020, Skytrax launched the COVID-19 Airline Safety Ratings, providing independent, expert evaluation and certification of airline COVID-19 hygiene and safety measures. This programme is regarded as a global benchmark for Certifying COVID-19 safe travel standards.