Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has been awarded the Diamond status in the inaugural ‘APEX Health Safety, powered by SimpliFlying’ audit, for efforts in ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitisation. The award aims to help re-build confidence in air travel by creating a global standard for health and safety measures. The judges took into consideration the implementation of COVID-prevention measures across the customer journey.
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand & Marketing, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “2020 brought tremendous challenges to the aviation industry, and the Diamond status is testament to the strength of Etihad’s health and safety credentials and response to the pandemic. Etihad has demonstrated its resilience and designed industry-leading measures to combat COVID-19, including the Etihad Wellness programme. As part of its efforts, Etihad is the only airline in the world to make COVID-19 testing mandatory before every flight, and since August 2020, 100% of our guests have tested negative before they fly.”
“In the face of COVID-19 adversity, Etihad has soared to new heights in passenger service as a 2021 APEX Five Star Airline, and in customer wellbeing as a Diamond certified airline with hospital-grade health safety,” APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader stated. “In my last visit to Etihad in Abu Dhabi, I watched the airline’s philosophy of never settling for less than the best for their guests. The airline’s implementation of COVID-19 health standards has built on that best practice of always doing more, caring more, and serving with more heart than ever.”
Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying, said: "Etihad Airways has raised the bar for health safety standards in the industry by initiatives such as Wellness Ambassadors, free PCR COVID-19 tests and using AI to identify high-risk passengers at its hub in Abu Dhabi. Taking such hospital-grade measures in ensuring health safety goes a long way in bolstering trust among travellers."
Mr Daly added: “To be awarded the Diamond status is recognition that Etihad is one of the safest airlines in the world. The benchmarking of airlines based on health and safety is a welcome response to the global pandemic from APEX and SimpliFlying. This will provide passengers with valuable data and safety ratings and will allow them to travel with peace of mind when they choose a Diamond rated airline such as Etihad.”
The results recognise Etihad’s role in leading the aviation industry’s response to the global Coronavirus pandemic. Etihad introduced the Etihad Wellness programme, which ensures the highest standards of hygiene are maintained at every stage of the customer journey. The programme is championed by specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, a first in the industry, who provide essential travel health information and care online via webchat, at Abu Dhabi International Airport, and in flight.
Etihad also provides complimentary COVID-19 wellness insurance to all guests, no exceptions, as further evidence of its commitment to passenger safety and wellbeing.