Air India is buying 600,000 safety kits for its passengers. These kits will carry face shields, masks, and hand sanitizers. Air India is currently engaging a significant repatriation procedure, as it brings home thousands of Indians every day.
Safety kits become more common.
As flying returns, airlines are quick to accommodate the highest levels of hygiene to passengers. Domestic flights in India require airlines to give all passengers a safety kit with these essentials. Airlines around the world, such as Emirates, are taking related steps to keep passengers safe. Masks, hand sanitizers, and face shields have now become key to ensuring passenger safety onboard.
With safety kits becoming common, it is no wonder Air India is moving to purchase more of them for their operations. The airline will buy the 600,000 bags through a tender offer, providing anyone to bid for the agreement to supply these kits. However, the airline has particularised that the total number of packages needed could increase or decrease depending on requirements.
Air India will likely use these kits on its repatriation operations, known as Vande Bharat mission, as it increases flights. However, these kits could also be destined for domestic flights that have similar requirements.
Air India has led India’s extensive repatriation operation, operating all the flights to long-haul destinations. Since the beginning of the flights in early May, Air India has brought home over 75,000 Indians. Repatriation flights are now in their third phase, with the government set to operate 432 flights to 43 countries in the coming months.
Air India, and its subsidiary Air India Express, have flown most of the flights. In contrast, private carriers have flown some flights. Some repatriation flights operate from virus hotspots, requiring very high levels of hygiene for passengers. This has prompted the need for more safety equipment for passengers. Especially since there is no social distancing onboard the flights.
Face shields, used with a mask, have proven to help prevent the spread of the virus. Considering that these operations will continue for the coming months, it makes sense why Air India is moving to place a bulk order for this safety equipment. Safety kits will also be helpful on domestic flights, ensuring Air India has a use for the packages.
The new normal?
Air India’s large order could point to the fact that measures such as masks and sanitizers could be the new normal while flying. We might have to be ready to fly our next flights in protective equipment, as the virus continues to spread around the world. Until such time as we have a coronavirus vaccine or treatment. It is likely safety kits are a part of the future of flying.