Qatar Airways has been at the forefront of many trends in 2020. This comes as they have been one of the few long haul airlines to keep operating all throughout the crisis (albeit at much lower levels than their pre-pandemic numbers).
As aviation expert Rico Merkert previously confirmed to DMARGE: “Yes, [continuing to operate flights has been] great for brand building and grabbing market share,” and Qatar clearly understands “the importance of aviation to their economy (as a hub with some pretty new and expensive infrastructure sitting there and lots of competition from the UAE and other places).”
Qatar Airways hasn’t slowed down on the innovation front, yesterday announcing they are the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s ultraviolet cabin cleaning technology.
Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System is approximately the size of a beverage cart and has extendable UV arms that treat aircraft seats, surfaces and cabins without using cleaning chemicals. It is operated by Qatar Aviation Services (QAS).
In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied.
Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System was introduced to further advance Qatar Airway’s hygiene measures onboard.
“Having already received six of the Honeywell UV Cabin System, the devices have undergone comprehensive testing onboard Qatar Airways aircraft, before entering service,” Qatar Airways claims. “The airline aims to acquire additional units in the near future, in order to operate them onboard all aircraft turnarounds at Hamad International Airport (HIA).”
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are pleased to be the first global airline to operate the Honeywell UV Cabin System onboard our aircraft.”
“During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our crew and passengers continues to be of the utmost importance.”
Honeywell Aerospace President EMEAI, Mr. James Currier, said: “Honeywell has technology today that can make air travel safer – from the traveller to the airport worker, throughout the airport and onboard the aircraft,” as well as hinting at new products to come.
“We’re working across business lines to develop new products such as Honeywell ThermoRebellion, a new temperature-monitoring solution – Environmental Control System Check, which allows airlines to monitor air flow in the cabin, and an array of Personal Protective Equipment. All this allows for cleaner and safer airports.”
Qatar Airways’ aircraft will continue to be regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the airline states.
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Fitting into this, the Honeywell UV Cabin System will be used as an additional step after manual disinfection, to ensure the very highest standards of cleanliness.
Qatar Airway’s onboard linen and blankets will also continue to be washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are rigorously sanitised after each flight.
Qatar Airways’ aircraft also feature the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air, which provides “the most effective protection against infection,” the airline claims.
This leaves the question: will we now see a global ‘health race’ between airlines, to see who can convince passengers they are safest (with systems like Honeywell’s), or will the pandemic be over before such initiatives become adopted worldwide?
Watch this (air) space.