Faced with the global Covid-19 pandemic, the APHI (Aviation Public Health Initiative) led by researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health studied the impact of health and sanitation measures by airlines and airports. Researchers have been able to demonstrate that the risk of transmission on board an aircraft is low as a result of the measures put in place by many airlines. The measures adopted by Air Tahiti Nui incorporate all of the recommended elements of the Harvard study, insuring the Airlines’s passengers and crew travel in the safest possible environment.
To conduct this study, the team of environmental, infectious disease and social scientists are examining current research in these fields as well as analyzes conducted by the aviation industry. The sanitary measures and the equipment of several airlines have been studied by these experts. The data collected enabled them to establish a list of best practices to limit the spread of Covid-19. These practices have already been fully implemented and used by Air Tahiti Nui for several months and combined with a latest-generation air filtration system on board, identical to those used in hospitals, mitigates covid risk to a great extent.
The HEPA air renewal system on board the Tahitian Dreamliners, capturing more than 99% of covid particles, considerably reduces airborne risks, making the air cleaner than in many other types of indoor spaces open to the public (shops, restaurants, etc.).
Additional measures in place to make flights safer include: Compulsory mask wearing for passengers and crew, disinfection and cleaning of aircraft and equipment, physical distancing, and limitation of the movements on board. Airlines and countries may implement screening and deny boarding for passengers who are infected or show symptoms. All these measures thus significantly limit the risks of contamination on board and the spread of the virus from one country to another.
Each of these measures has been adopted by Air Tahiti Nui. In addition, before boarding and upon arrival, French Polynesia requires each passenger to test negative for Covid-19 via an RT-PCR test taken within 3 days of departure.
Since the start of the epidemic, Air Tahiti Nui has placed the health and safety of its passengers at the heart of its priorities. Thanks to the results of this study, Harvard researchers now confirm the effectiveness of the measures already in place on board our aircrafts. Leonard Marcus, APHI Co-Director explains: "With comprehensive adherence to these preventive measures by airlines and passengers, air travel, along with other sectors of society, can responsibly return to some level of normal activity as we await development of an effective vaccine.”
We are pleased to inform our our customers that these sanitary measures remain in effect:
- The cleaning and disinfection procedure in our aircrafts is reinforced,
- The air in the cabin is filtered with a high-performance air filtration system which renews the air every 2 to 3 minutes,
- Services on board are simplified to avoid risks, contact and movement in the cabins,
- Physical distancing is encouraged in waiting areas and at check-in counters.
For more information, visit our web site to view information related to Covid-19 measures on our flights.
We invite all travelers to observe the instructions, to wash or disinfect their hands regularly and to always wear a mask on board and in airports. To facilitate compliancy with sanitary measures, Air Tahiti Nui offers each passenger a kit including 2 surgical masks, a bottle of hydroalcoholic gel and disinfectant wipes.
The next phase of the Harvard APHI study will focus on the analysis of health measures in airports. The researchers say that limiting risk concerns everyone. Airports, airlines, partners, passengers… Let’s remain vigilant in order to be able to travel together in complete safety and serenity.
Based on Harvard's Aviation Public Health Initiative (APHI) study undertaken by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government, and funded by a consortium of airlines, aircraft manufacturers and airport operators.
The research team includes Dr. Leonard Marcus, director of the APHI and expert on public health practice, as well as Jack McCarthy, expert on environmental health risks and chairman of the consulting firm Environmental Health & Engineering.
The results and recommendations of this study are independent, and these conclusions are provided by the APHI of the Harvard School of Public Health.