Gulf Air receives the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating
by Skytrax: London, UK
Gulf Air has been certified with the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, becoming one of just sixteen airlines in the world to currently achieve this top recognition and the third airline in the Middle East to gain the 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating.
The Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Accreditation is regarded as a global benchmark for evaluating COVID-19 safe travel.
The COVID-19 Safety Audit was conducted by Skytrax during December 2021, analysing all of the relevant health and hygiene measures introduced by Gulf Air in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The audit evaluated front line facilities and service systems in the airport environment and onboard flights to determine if the procedures were effective, consistent and compliant with the required standards. The airport assessments were carried out for the airline’s home base at Bahrain International Airport.
Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Captain Waleed Abdulhameed AlAlawi said: “This award is the result of the incredible work by the team at Gulf Air. This achievement is due to our commitment in serving the National Carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. As one of the few airlines globally that never stopped flying throughout 2020, we proudly accept this award which is a testimony of our resilience to maintain operations and preserve excellence in our service. I want to thank our loyal passengers for their appreciation during this challenging period and for the faith and trust they have in the Gulf Air brand as we implemented strict enhanced measures to continue flying safely during these uncertain times”.
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.
Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said: “Gulf Air is providing customers with a very detailed range of COVID-19 safety protocols, and these are being excellently applied on a consistent basis. The airline transports 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. Gulf Air provides an excellent standard of pre-travel information, airport management, and passenger handling protocols, in addition to some very robust hygiene and sanitisation protocols applied across its airport facilities, lounges and the onboard experience.”
Gulf Air provides customers with an excellent range of COVID-19 travel regulation guidance through their website, and also have a good video to demonstrate the various procedures put in place during COVID-19 to enhance the hygiene and customer travel safety standards.
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 GULF AIR
Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, commenced operations in 1950, becoming one of the first commercial airlines established in the Middle East. The airline operates scheduled flights from its hub at Bahrain International Airport to cities in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian sub-continent and the Far East. Gulf Air currently serves all its destinations with a combination of wide and narrow body fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Renowned for its traditional Arabian hospitality, evidenced by the airline’s signature family and business friendly products, Gulf Air is committed to being an industry leader and developing products and services that reflect the evolving needs and aspirations of its passengers.
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.