In aviation, safety has always been, is, and will continue to be everyone’s top priority. With the global pandemic severely disrupting flying and our travelling habits for over a year now, we have launched an initiative to talk to the air carriers flying to and from our airports.
In the third interview from our new "Five pre-flight questions" series, we talk to Andras Rado, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, on how the airline has adapted, what additional safety measures have been put in place, and what the upcoming Summer season holds for us.
In the aviation industry, safety has always been the top priority. How has your airline adapted to the changed working environment and what measures have been put in place?
In order to make sure that the health and wellbeing of passengers and crew remain intact, Wizz Air has been one of the first airlines to introduce new protocols back in May 2020 – in line with government regulations – to support physical distancing during boarding and enhanced cleanliness on board. As part of the measures to protect the health of the airline’s customers and crew, customers should check-in and make any purchases online, such as paying for additional bags, to reduce non-essential interaction at the airport. The use of the self-bag drop kiosks – where available – and fast track security screening at airports, are highly recommended by the airline to further enhance physical distancing during the pre-boarding phase. In an attempt to contain the spread of possible infection, passengers are kindly asked to adhere to the new physical distancing rules both during boarding and disembarkation.
While the HEPA filters of all Wizz Air aircraft filter out 99.97% of viruses and bacteria from the air within the cabin, the crew as well as passengers will be required to wear masks throughout the flight. The removal of onboard magazines and the encouragement of contactless payment during onboard purchases are measures introduced to minimise physical contact. On flights where load factor allows, the crew will observe seat distancing for passengers.
How does, in terms of health safety, travelling by plane differ from other modes of transportation?
Travelling by aircraft is still the safest way of transport. There haven’t been any confirmed cases where a passenger was infected on board. The ventilation system in all WIZZ aircraft is modern and changes the entire air in the cabin every 3-4 minutes (approx. 20 times/hour) and the air flow is from the top to the bottom, hindering the spread of any possible droplets in the cabin. Together with the masks it is a very safe environment.
Before Covid appeared on the scenery, we were used to booking trips for the longer term, for example, six months in advance. But due to the abundance of different travel regulations among countries, planning a trip became far more challenging. Could you tell us how your booking process has changed since, and what measures have you put in place for people to feel more confident while purchasing a flight ticket?
We have witnessed that lead times have dropped and that customers purchase their tickets closer to the actual date of travel than before. During this uncertain time, passengers can book tickets with confidence, thanks to WIZZ Flex and the airline’s new travel insurance package which includes Covid-19 cover. With WIZZ Flex, passengers can cancel their flight up to three hours before departure without any fee and receive 100% of the fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit. Wizz Air’s new travel insurance now covers Covid-19 related cancellations and medical related expenses whilst travelling abroad.
There is this saying in aviation that no matter the weather, the sun always shines above the clouds. How does your airline see air travel in the upcoming Summer of 2021?
We at Wizz Air hope that there will be a common European approach towards restrictions and that governments will successfully contain the spread of the virus and travelling will be available for everybody again. Wizz Air remains a financially stable and sustainable airline and is ready to ramp up its operations as soon as market conditions allow. WIZZ can ramp up to 80% of its capacity within 2 weeks (as it has the fleet of modern aircraft and the necessary crews). We are continuously adding new routes to our summer schedule, hoping to be able to fly more and more people to their dream holidays, after such a long lockdown period. We remain optimistic.
Finally, what would be your message to your current and future passengers?
Don’t be afraid of travelling because flying is the safest way of travelling and Wizz Air will fly you to your dream destination in a safe way paired with an excellent onboard experience.