Canadian North has enhanced its cleaning of planes and is temporarily suspending change and cancellation fees on connections for international flights in reaction to the threat posed by the coronavirus Covid-19.
Although health officials have stated that the risk from the coronavirus in the North is low, the dominant airline serving Nunavut and the NWT assured that it has undertaken planning to enable it to maintain the essential flow of passengers and cargo to all Northern locations even if the spread of the coronavirus escalates.
“This includes identifying key operational personnel and the coverage that would be required if they were temporarily unavailable, making sure that our administrative team members have the resources required for them to work from home if necessary and ensuring we have contingency plans in place to temporarily adjust our schedule while minimizing the impact on those we serve,” Canadian North stated in a news release on Wednesday.
In the meantime, the airline has stopped handing out blankets, pillows and hot towels; all surfaces in planes’ galley or kitchen are being cleaned thoroughly with antiseptic wipes before and after meals; tray tables, armrests, headrests seatbelt buckles, overhead lighting and ventilation controls, luggage bin latches and washroom door handles are also being disinfected more often; and flight attendants are wearing sanitary gloves when handling garbage or other used items, according to Canadian North.
The airline has chosen to use a product called Oxivir Wipes, which are hydrogen peroxide-based. These wipes are considered effective against this virus strain and other pathogens as well as being safe for humans to handle and having limited environmental impacts.
Should a passenger become ill while onboard, flight crews are trained to provide assistance while “minimizing exposure to other passengers,” Canadian North stated. “Crew members have access to real-time medical support and can request for first responders to meet the aircraft upon arrival while ensuring that public health authorities are immediately informed of the situation.”
Northerners who have booked international travel and who are seeking changes or cancellation of connecting Canadian North flights will have change fees waived at no charge upon request for flights occurring on or before March 31. Cancellations will result in a travel credit voucher that is valid for one year.