Air Astana is the first airline from the CIS and Southeast Asia to successfully pass an APEX audit, with Diamond status being awarded for minimizing and preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus during flights.
The APEX audit was developed in collaboration with SimpliFlying and covers categories including pre-departure testing of passengers and crew, contact tracing of infected passengers, ground handling, precautions during a flight and the quality of preflight cleaning.
The Audit evaluated compliance of mandatory sanitary rules. Air Astana flight attendants replace their face masks every two hours, sanitize hands before and during inflight service and ensure passengers do not change seats. Due to the pandemic, onboard cleaning has also changed dramatically, with every surface in the cabin and in the galley now decontaminated prior to every flight.
In order to promote passenger health safety, SimpliFlying has established a working group consisting of medical and scientific staff, who will examine recent researches to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The airline in its turn going to review and, if applicable, implement changes in line with audit recommendations.
“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global air transport is without precedent and whilst airlines remain extremely safe to fly based upon governmental review and covid-19 requirements, this program provides a scientifically based evaluation to set industry standard. We are delighted to be the first airline in the CIS region to have achieved the Diamond status, the highest level attainable,” said Margaret Phelan, Vice-President, Inflight Services.
Other airlines that have undergone the APEX audit include Turkish Airlines, Qatar, United, Delta, Etihad and Singapore Airlines.