press enter to search

Garuda drops plan to replace face masks for cabin crew

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, June 19, 2020  /  04:10 pm
Garuda drops plan to replace face masks for cabin crew

Garuda Indonesia flight attendants welcome guests at the launch of the NEO Airbus A330-900 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tangerang, Banten. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is scrapping a plan to replace the use of face masks for its flight attendants after passengers complained they could not tell “whether the cabin crew was smiling or frowning” because half of their face is covered.

Garuda president director Irfan Setiaputra previously announced the airline was considering face shields as an alternative to masks to ensure positive interactions between the cabin crew and travelers.

On Friday, however, Irfan said face shields “will not replace face masks but will complement them instead”.

“We are evaluating the most appropriate and safe PPE [personal protective equipment] to be used by our flight crew while also considering the comfort and freedom of interaction with passengers,” Irfan said in a statement.

Read also: Garuda to require entry permits from Jakarta-bound passengers

Garuda corporate secretary Mitra Piranti said on Wednesday that cabin crews would still wear masks and gloves during flights while the airline waits for a new safety guideline to be issued.

Other forms of PPE will also be issued for flight attendants, including single-use aprons to be worn when serving in-flight meals, he added.

Garuda’s plan to replace face masks with face shields received backlash from social media users, who slammed both the complaining passengers as well as the airline.

"Passengers who complain should just be shoved out of the plane. Why do cabin crew have to risk their health just for the sake of stupid passengers who want to check out [the attendants]?" @polluxa tweeted on Wednesday.

"How can such a thing become a priority instead of the passengers’ and flight crews’ safety?" posted @athenneee.

While allowing airlines to operate regular flights, the Transportation Ministry’s civil aviation directorate general requires flight attendants to wear masks and gloves for their personal safety, except in cases in which wearing such protective equipment would interfere with their safety duties. (mfp)

Your premium period will expire in 0 day(s)

close x
Subscribe to get unlimited access Get 50% off now