While Vistara, just like all the other airlines has been working behind the scenes to make sure they can come out of the lockdown, they have today shared an insight into how the airline’s (full) service protocols will be affected due to the CoronaVirus.
Temporary updates to Vistara services
Vistara has today announced intended temporary changes to its inflight products and services on domestic and international flights. The airline aims to introduce new operating procedures to minimise touchpoints of human contact on board by up to 80%. The airline may make further changes in compliance with regulatory guidelines once they are finalised and notified. This supersedes Vistara’s earlier updated in March 2020, which in practicality were hardly valid for a day.
Truncated Food & Beverage Service
Vistara intends to continue serving food and beverages in all cabins while reducing the cabin crew’s time spent on aisle and interaction with customers.
Onboard Vistara’s domestic flights, the service alterations include a reduction in meal choices and withdrawal of services such as onboard sales, welcome drink and hot meals and beverages in Premium Economy and Economy cabins. For Premium Economy and Business Class, Starbucks coffee and Turkish towels will also go away.
Water-pouring will be replaced with the distribution of 200ml sealed water bottles on all flights, and cold refreshments will be served to customers in Premium Economy and Economy cabins, including to customers opting for Economy Lite fares.
Reading Material Removed from all flights.
To further reduce the risk of spreading the virus by touch, the airline has implemented a temporary fleetwide removal of its inflight magazine and other reading material. The seatback pocket, then I assume, only will have the safety card and a sick bag as other airlines across the world have been doing.
Social distancing on the ground
Vistara shall implement social distancing across all possible passenger touchpoints and encourage the usage of self-service facilities such as web check-in and airport check-in kiosks. It makes sense as airports are themselves going to have reduced service availability in the times ahead.
Vistara crew safety measures
Vistara’s cabin crew are receiving appropriate training on minimising their chances of contracting or spreading the coronavirus. They will undergo thermal screenings before the departure and after the arrival of flights and will be quarantined/tested if any colleagues or passengers show symptoms of infection or test positive for CoVid-19. The cabin crew will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and disposable gloves at all times on the flights.
Fleetwide deep cleanse
Vistara has already instituted disinfectant cleaning of all aircraft at the turn-around of every single flight and deep cleaning of all aircraft every 24 hours with a higher concentration of approved disinfectant cleaners.
Vistara will equip all its aircraft with surgical masks, gloves, sanitizer wipes and contact-less infrared thermometers. The airline will also ensure a precautionary check-up with the Airport Medical Support team for any passenger showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The Vistara guidelines for travel, whenever they can fly are oddly quiet on one subject, social distancing on planes. I would imagine this comes from the fact that airlines in India are considering flying full planes. One seat distancing is anyways not going to be helpful as per them because it is not in line with the 2 metres distancing the WHO prescribes. However, there is no guideline on all passengers wearing a mask (and gloves?) through the duration of the flight, which still worries me.
What do you think about Vistara’s new service guidelines?