In a COVID-19 care card titled ‘How we are taking care of you’, Air New Zealand has outlined its cleaning practices in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, the release comes after revelations in a report seen by The Sydney Morning Herald shed light on sub-standard cleaning practices on Qantas aircraft that could be placing people at risk.
The care card specifically mentions “thoroughly cleaning our aircraft and lounges”, “making hand sanitiser readily available” and “providing personal protective gear for our people”.
It is possibly indirectly addressing the allegations against Qantas, including how cleaners were wiping tray tables without disinfectant and performing tasks such as handling soiled nappies and dirty tissues without wearing “protective equipment” for “the majority of these tasks”.
SafeWork NSW has issued Qantas with an “improvement notice” and ordered the airline to develop a new system specifically to deal with COVID-19.
Qantas strongly rebutted the findings, saying in a statement, “All of our Fleet Presentation teams are provided with personal protective equipment for cleaning the aircraft and for more hazardous items, we have additional equipment such as masks and safety suits.”
The company added it was considering appealing the notice.
According to the newspaper’s investigation, SafeWork NSW issued the notice on 26 February after an inspector found that workers and passengers could be at risk due to its “inadequate system of work used to clean planes that may have transported passengers with an infectious disease”.
A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Aviation, “We are investigating claims made by SafeWork NSW, after an inspector observed one of our aircraft being cleaned in Sydney last week. We are considering appealing the notice.
“Our aircraft are thoroughly cleaned after each international flight.”