How safe is the kulula travel experience?

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 06:33 AM

At kulula.com, we’ve always had an impeccable safety track record and we’re always adapting our travel experience to make it even safer.

We work with industry partners, regulatory bodies and health authorities to ensure that we are not only COVID-19 compliant but that our green machines, pilots and crew are in top shape to get you to your destination safely and comfortably. That means you can focus on enjoying your travel experience with the kulula charm that fans have come to love. Want to know how safe the kulula travel experience is? Get a behind the scenes view on how we put your safety first.

We maintain our green machines

Regular maintenance and inspections are done on our green machines according to the manufacturer and regulatory requirements. This ensures that they comply with the highest safety standards (even during lockdowns). We frequently update our aircraft maintenance records by keeping track of life-limited components - from large aircraft components to the changing of the tiniest nuts and bolts. These records, much like a car service history record, are reviewed by our engineering team to keep track of the aircraft condition and compliance over time. Maintenance data is used to perform airworthiness tasks. And before our green machines take our fans to all their favourite destinations, confidence flights are conducted to ensure that all our aircraft systems (engines, avionics and cabin systems) are spanking fit.

A daily maintenance routine of a green machine is mandatory and typically includes (but not limited to) checks in the following areas:

  • The body of the aircraft is checked for corrosion, damage and inspected to assess the overall condition.
  • The aircraft engine is started and operated at levels that test the use of basic services supplied from engine systems. After the test, the engine is inspected for any unwanted leaks.
  • The aircraft cabin cooling system is checked for operational efficiency.
  • The aircraft hydraulic system is checked to see if it is in working condition and later inspected to identify any unwanted leaks.
  • Wheels and brakes are inspected for any defects, wear and tear.
  • Upon the completion of maintenance activities and inspections of all aircraft, the engines and the aircraft sensors are covered and protected to prevent any possible nesting of insects/birds and any entry of unwanted foreign bodies.

We ensure that our crew and pilots are fit to fly

Obtaining accredited awareness, theoretical and practical recurrent training is compulsory for all our pilots, cabin and airport crew to ensure that their skills are kept up to date. Upon successful training completion, accompanied by a valid medical certificate, our personnel are requalified by various local and international regulatory bodies, validating their authorisation and fitness to fly our green machines and service our fans from the ground up.

The rigorous refresher training program includes (but not limited to) the following areas:

  • Emergency procedures equip crew and pilots to handle cabin fires, smoke and fumes, emergency landings, planned and unplanned cabin evacuations.
  • Safety protocols train crew on policies and procedures related to COVID-19, turbulence, safety checks, flight-deck access, fuelling with passengers onboard, mandatory briefings, passenger acceptance and handling.
  • Dangerous goods enable our pilots, air and ground crew to identify, handle and deal with articles and substances that could pose a health, environmental and safety risk to the public.
  • Aviation medicine focuses on how to deal with health emergencies onboard and communicable diseases like COVID-19 and Ebola.
  • Crew resource management focuses on interpersonal communication and decision-making in the cockpit to mitigate safety risks.
  • Practical training exercises include passenger briefings, decompression group drills, oxygen administration, protective breathing devices and ditching.

Leading up to our restart, our pilots were placed on a requalification training program. This type of recurrent training is much more intense to validate readiness to fly and includes (but not limited to) the following:

  • Aircraft technical refresher training focuses on the theoretical knowledge and practical use of all aircraft systems.
  • Proficiency checks using planes and flight simulators, test our pilots’ ability to fly under different conditions, take off and land.
  • Mental wellness sessions conducted to assess whether our pilots are psychologically ready to fly our green machines.
  • Our pilots are required to undergo flight tests with a training Captain on a scheduled route before safely flying our fans.

We implement hygiene measures from the ground up

To fly in the new normal requires our operations to be COVID-19 compliant. We’ve worked alongside health authorities and have gone above and beyond the minimum requirements by implementing additional hygiene measures that reduce the risk of spread on our flights.

Here are the hygiene measures we’ve put in place to create a COVID-19 compliant flight experience:

  • Enhancing air quality on all our planes - The HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) system fitted on all our planes is 99% effective at trapping the smallest airborne virus particles and bacteria. This advanced system can be compared to the air filters used in hospital operating rooms and continuously cleans the air onboard through a process which recirculates filtered and outside air throughout the plane. Couple that with the safety protocols of mask-wearing and hand sanitising throughout the flight and you’ve got a safe environment that significantly reduces the risk of transmission.
  • Providing a paperless inflight experience - To limit the handling of objects that could become contaminated and increase the spread of germs, we’ve discontinued the printed versions of the khuluma inflight magazine and our food menu. The great news is that digital versions of these items are available on our website, giving you the flexibility to read them before, during and after your flight. Better yet, going paperless has the added benefit of protecting the environment, saving millions of trees in the process.
  • Adapting our catering options onboard  - In line with health and safety regulations, we have temporarily halted our onboard catering but serve water to passengers on request.
  • Maintaining hygiene throughout the kulula travel experience - At the bag-drop counter, the handles of your bags are disinfected when checking in. Wheelchairs are sanitised to protect fans requiring special assistance. Disinfectant kits and cleaning materials are used by crew onboard to sanitise their work environment, common touch areas and deal with a communicable disease-related crisis.
  • Deep- clean of the aircraft interior - To keep our aircraft interiors and cockpit spick and span, we frequently disinfect them using electrostatic sprayer technology and aircraft-approved detergent sanitisers which comply with WHO standards. Electrostatic sprayer technology releases an electrostatically charged mist used to apply sanitising agents that kill bacteria and germs. This ensures that cleaning agents reach all areas, surfaces and objects in the interior. We’ve increased the frequency of deep-cleaning, focusing on high-frequency touchpoints and hard surfaces like handles, seatbelt buckles, tray tables, lavatories, toilet floors, ceilings and window shades. Upon completion of a regular cleaning program, our aircraft meet the hygiene standards of health authorities and regulatory bodies.
  • Implementing a no-touch policy where possible - Frequent touching of surfaces increases the risk of contamination and spread of germs. We’ve prohibited the handling of documents, boarding passes and other personal items by kulula staff at check-in and boarding, unless dealing with a passenger needing special assistance. We’ve adopted a contactless payment system on board when you’re purchasing your favourite items on the menu. Our fans can check in online and generate an electronic boarding pass to avoid contact with staff.

We’re enforcing health and safety protocols from the ground up

Wearing a mask and social distancing where possible, is a legal requirement in public areas. At kulula, we’re committed to keeping our fans, staff and the general public safe, in the air and at airports. We’ve implemented health and safety protocols to ensure that our crew and passengers comply with government regulations and that we actively play a role in reducing COVID-19 transmissions.

The following health and safety protocols have been put in place:

  • Screening our aviation staff before duty - Temperature checks and health screening is mandatory, to ensure that aviation staff (pilots, cabin crew and ground crew) displaying symptoms, do not expose passengers and crew to infectious illnesses. This means that affected staff are prevented from carrying out their duties for a certain period.
  • Compulsory mask-wearing for all our staff and passengers - Cabin crew and passengers are required to keep their masks on throughout the entire flight. This includes our mini-fans under the ages of 6. 
  • Hand sanitising - This is mandatory for passengers, pilots and crew when entering the aircraft. We’ve also permitted the carrying of hand sanitisers on board provided that they adhere to the LAG (Liquid, Aerosols and Gel) requirements of 100 millilitres.
  • Social distancing - We’ve placed social distancing markers when queuing at check-in counters, boarding the plane and disembarking from the flight.

Ready for your next holiday? Find out everything you need to know when flying kulula in the new normal.

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