Travel in the time of COVID-19: Flying safely amid the pandemic

July 23, 2020
Cebu Pacific crew in full PPE_2
Cebu Pacific crew in full PPE

Over the past several years, movies about a powerful virus depicted airlines and air travelers as the ideal carriers. Today, as the world grapples with a real-life pandemic, concerns over whether fiction is fact have arisen, which begs the question: is it safe to fly?

In reality, airlines like Cebu Pacific are part of a much broader aviation industry where there are many other layers of safety in place. Furthermore, the entire aviation industry is not letting their guard down—beefing-up the already stringent safety measures to alleviate concerns of passengers regarding air travel.

HEPA filters keep cabin air fresh and clean

Some people think that the airplane is cabin is just like any other enclosed airconditioned space like a restaurant or office. However, even if passengers are seated next to each other, the chances of transmission of transmission of contaminants like coronavirus from breathing in cabin air is reduced. This is because the air flows or circulates inside the cabin vertically, with “used air” pushed out of the cabin, and fresh air comes in from outside, passing through a filtration process all the time. Cebu Pacific jets are equipped with hospital-grade High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These effectively circulate clean air every three (3) minutes, and eliminate microscopic particles such as bacteria, viruses and fungi with 99.99% efficiency.

Multiple biosafety measures in place

Cebu Pacific has also adapted a layered approach to biosafety measures to help curb the spread of the virus onboard. From the moment a passenger enters the airport, checks-in, goes to the pre-departure area, and boards the aircraft, the airline constantly reminds its passengers to follow floor markers placed as a guide for them to observe social distancing, while always having their face masks on.

Unlike any other indoor space or modes of transportation, research conducted by the International Air Transport Association shows that the condition in the air cabin makes transmission of virus difficult, as airflow exchange rates and directions are less conducive to droplet spread. Seat backs also act as a solid barrier that directs the flow of cabin air in one direction, straight to the filters.

Aircraft is cleaned and disinfected extensively

Aircraft disinfection
Aircraft disinfection

All our aircraft also undergo extensive disinfection, which are performed by Bureau of Quarantine-certified personnel. They use Airbus-approved disinfectant, proven to be effective against viruses, including the coronavirus. Lavatories are also cleaned by the crew members every 30 minutes while in flight.

Keep precautions in mind before traveling

EveryJuan has an active role in protecting themselves and fellow travelers from the virus. Before scheduled flights, passengers must ensure they are well enough to travel. Prepare face masks, and bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (100mL maximum) to disinfect hands and belongings anytime. It is imperative that everyone washes their hands properly at all times and avoid touching their mouth, eyes and nose.

Rest assured, Cebu Pacific remains committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of staff and passengers are prioritized. For more information on the airline’s safety procedures and flight updates, visit www.cebupacificair.com.