Emirates and Etihad are among the top 20 airlines in the world when it comes to complying with international Covid-19 safety standards, according to airlineratings.com.
The UAE airlines were both awarded the top rating of seven stars by the safety and product-rating website.
A number of criteria were used to assess airlines for their adherence to Covid-19 standards. These include the availability of coronavirus guidance for travellers, social distancing measures, deep cleaning of aircraft, compulsory face masks, PPE for crew, the provision of sanitising kits for travellers and changes to in-flight meal services to cut down on social interaction.
To receive one star, an airline must adhere to at least four of these categories, says the website's editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Thomas. He added that the top 20 list represents the airlines that have been at the forefront of implementing Covid-19 safety policies.
Airlineratings.com was the first site of its kind to introduce airline Covid-19 ratings and monitors 430 carriers on a weekly basis.
“Now 119 airlines achieved the highest rating of seven stars but it is disappointing to see that 117 get a zero for compliance, or have no information for the public on their Covid-19 policies on their website,” said Mr Thomas.
The 20 most Covid-19 safety compliant airlines in the world:
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
Cathay Pacific Airways
Delta Air Lines
Emirates and Etihad's Covid-19 policies
Etihad requires all travellers to show a negative PCR test result at both departure and arrival in Abu Dhabi. The national airline of the UAE has also introduced Etihad Wellness Ambassadors on flights to assist passengers with coronavirus-related questions and advice.
Emirates provides all travellers with a complimentary hygiene kit and has also changed its premium offerings to ensure they are Covid-safe. This includes transforming the on-board bar on its A380 jets into a takeaway service and limiting shower spa services. The airline also offers an entirely comprehensive insurance policy to all travellers.
“Moving forward, airlines are looking at more initiatives, be it better cleaning systems or more flexibility to make changes to bookings," said Mr Thomas.
“Next on the horizon for passengers will be a phone app with vaccination details, a free Covid-19 test and passport all in one."