Qatar Airways has become the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System version 2.0, further advancing its hygiene measures on board. The latest version of the Honeywell UV Cabin System that is owned and operated by Qatar Aviation Services (QAS) has been introduced to add flexibility, improve reliability, mobility and ease of use compared to its predecessor, with extended UV wings that treat both narrow and wide areas on board, reducing the overall disinfection time. This version also includes a hand wand that disinfects areas like the cockpit and other smaller spaces and is non-motorised leading to less battery consumption. In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied.
After receiving 17 units of the latest version of the Honeywell UV Cabin System V2, the devices have all undergone comprehensive testing on board Qatar Airways’ aircraft. The airline aims to operate them on board all aircraft turnarounds at Hamad International Airport (HIA).
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “As the first global airline to operate the latest version of the Honeywell UV Cabin System V2 on board our aircraft, it is significantly more user friendly and technologically advanced. QAS has continued to maintain our impeccable service during the outbreak of COVID-19, specifically supporting with repatriation flights and increased cargo workloads.
“As the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, the first airline in the Middle East to begin trials of the innovative new IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app, and most recently, the first airline in the world to operate a flight with fully vaccinated crew and passengers - it is in our core to continuously be at the forefront of innovation, and to keep implementing the latest safety and hygiene measures on board and on the ground.”
QAS continues to uphold its world-class handling standards and long standing relationships with all airlines, and together with HIA ensures a safe and seamless journey for all passengers. Qatar Airways’ aircraft will continue to be regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The latest version of the Honeywell UV Cabin System V2 will be utilised as an additional step after manual disinfection, to ensure the very highest standards of cleanliness.
The airline’s on-board linen and blankets will continue to be washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are rigorously sanitised after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves.
Qatar Airways’ aircraft also feature the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97 per cent of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air, providing the most effective protection against infection.
On board, all Qatar Airways passengers are provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch, a single-use face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel are offered. Business Class customers also receive an additional 75ml sanitiser gel tube. In addition, for aircraft equipped with Qsuite, Qatar Airways’ award-winning business seat, Business Class customers are offered even greater privacy with sliding partitions and fully closing doors, and an option to display a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator if they wish to limit their interactions with cabin crew.
HIA, the airline’s hub in Doha, has also introduced UV-C disinfectant robots which are fully autonomous mobile devices emitting concentrated UV-C light, and are deployed in high passenger flow areas to reduce the spread of pathogens. In addition, HIA has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. All passenger touchpoints are sanitised every 10-15 minutes and every boarding gate and bus gate counter is cleaned after each flight. Hand sanitisers are provided at immigration and security screening points.