AIRLINES and airports continue to experience an unprecedented decline in passenger traffic due to the pandemic. — JESHOOTS.COM/UNSPLASH

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

EUROPEAN aircraft manufacturer Airbus on Wednesday urged the Philippine government and the country’s aviation sector to continue communicating the safety measures being carried out in order to rebuild the confidence of the public to fly again.

“I applaud them for their efforts, but I also urge them to continue to communicate the safety standards and safety initiatives being carried out,” Anand Stanley, the company’s newly appointed president for the Asia-Pacific region, said in a virtual conference on Wednesday.

He said safety measures should be communicated well to the public, as airlines and airports continue to experience an unprecedented decline in passenger traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Philippines is a vibrant market. It has a very strong population. It has a very strong domestic and international reach,” he noted.

Mr. Stanley added that the Philippine government should also communicate how it is supporting airlines in ensuring the execution of safety measures.

Airbus has always been big on safety measures, he said, adding that all its commercial passenger aircraft are equipped with “advanced air ventilation and filtration systems.”

“Clean air has always been a priority in our cabin design, with air flow, pressure, temperature and quality continuously monitored,” Mr. Stanley said.

“The air in the cabin is completely renewed every two to three minutes. The quality of the air in the cabin is in fact similar to an operating theater in a hospital,” he added.

Mr. Stanley said further that “air enters the cabin through vents near the overhead bins and travels in a downward direction at a rate of one meter per second,” reducing risk of cross-contamination.

The cabin’s high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters remove 99.95% of particles from the air, including bacteria and viruses such as the relatively large coronavirus, he noted.

In April, Airbus announced that it would revise downwards its production rates “to adapt to the new coronavirus market environment.”

“The impact of this pandemic is unprecedented. At Airbus, protecting our people and supporting the fight against the virus are our chief priorities at this time. We are in constant dialogue with our customers and supply chain partners as we are all going through these difficult times together,” Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury was quoted as saying in a news release.

“Our airline customers are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We are actively adapting our production to their new situation and working on operational and financial mitigation measures to face reality,” he added.

Mr. Stanley said the recovery of aircraft demand depends on the public’s confidence to fly again.