Thai Airways International Public Company Limited has implemented preventive measures to prevent the spread of swine flu, as a precaution for THAI’s passengers and customers using the Company’s facilities.
ACM Narongsak Sangapong, THAI’s Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretariat, and Acting President, said that THAI has implement preventive measures to safeguard against the spread of the Mexican strain of swine influenza subtype H1N1 and has set up a Crisis Management Operations Center (CMOC) to issue the preventive measures. THAI’s CMOC function will serve as a coordinating unit with internal and external departments, in order to implement critical measures internally and coordinate with external departments that include government organizations. The preventive public health measures are built upon the same principles that THAI implemented during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic and received a letter from the World Health Organization (WHO) commending the Company for responsible steps taken to protect passenger safety and reduce opportunity of contracting SARS.
THAI has implement preventive measures to safeguard against the spread of the Mexican strain of swine influenza subtype H1N1, which include regular deep-clean fumigation with EcoTru 1453 on board flights flown to and from high-risk countries for approximately 30-40 minutes prior to next flight departure.
36 Common touch points are disinfected as an additional preventive swine influenza measure by cleaning items in the passenger seat pocket, aircraft interior, passenger seat, galley, and lavatory on board THAI aircraft, whereby this measure is implemented in addition to regular on-ground cleaning upon flight arrival and partly conducted by cabin crew for passenger hygiene while on board THAI flights with increased cabin lavatory cleaning during flight. The 36 aircraft equipment parts are safety pamphlet, flight wallet set, inflight magazine, passenger overhead bin, partition, passenger cabin wall, stairway, window, movie screen, passenger seat pocket, safety seat belt, meal tray, armrest, dust passenger seat and back seat, clean and vacuum aircraft carpet and passenger seat, aircraft door, handle of aircraft door, armed-disarmed lever, door knob, food cabinets as well as internal and external fixtures, sink and counter, food cabinet shelves, food cabinet handle, trash bin area, clean kitchen floor, faucet, door knob, sink and counter, toilet flush button or handle, mirror, toilet seat, trash bin lid, toilet seat cover, latch, external and internal area of toilet, and lavatory floor.
THAI has installed special High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor called TRUE HEPA air filters on all its aircraft, which is the finest filtering 0.001 micron particles for clean air that is 99.999% particle-free. TRUE HEPA air filters are guaranteed by Airbus and Boeing to keep air as pure as in hospital surgical units. For passenger safety, TRUE HEPA air filters on THAI’s aircraft are changed more often than the recommended standard.
THAI’s cabin crew will observe for possible symptoms of ill passengers, especially those who have respiratory problems, such as cough or sneeze. Surgical masks are available for passengers to wear to prevent spread of infection, separate contagious passengers from others, and cabin crew will contact the international infectious diseases unit prior to flight landing. THAI has also provided influenza vaccinations for the Company’s flight crew and cabin crew annually, for the past 3-4 years.
Furthermore, THAI ensures that contract farming is conducted with regard to fruits, vegetables, and meats used in meal preparation, according to the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) for hygienic meals on board.
As for ground services, THAI’s staff at the check-in counter and boarding gate are also required to observe passengers for possible influenza symptoms. Should a passenger exhibits symptoms, the probable case must be reported to the physician on duty at the airport to conduct a check on the symptoms. If there are any doubts to the passenger’s condition, staff are allowed to refuse or deny boarding.