The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in collaboration with aviation strategists SimpliFlying have announced the first 12 carriers to be COVID-19-certified airlines under the group’s new passenger health safety standard.

APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying is a certification process that involves a 58-point checklist covering 10 airline categories, including testing, tracing, on-the-ground procedures, in-flight measures, and even co-branded partnerships. According to APEX, the customer-centric standard is designed to assure airline product safety integrity as more passengers return to the skies.

While the majority of travelers view widespread availability of effective vaccines as the key to a return to the road, health experts are cautioning that current hygiene protocols,  such as frequent disinfection and consistent mask usage, are likely to be necessary for some time to come in order to end the pandemic and increase confidence in air travel.

With 33 airlines currently advancing through the review process, APEX and SimpliFlying worked with a broad cross-section of airlines ranging from ultra-low-cost-carriers to global carriers. The 2021 APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying airlines certified for the initial launch of the program include:
Air Canada
Alaska Airlines
Etihad
JetSmart
Qatar Airways
Saudia
Singapore Airlines
Spirit
Sri Lankan
Turkish Airlines
United Airlines
Virgin Atlantic

Each of these airlines has completed the audit in a month-long process and has been given a rating of Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

The certification process requires that airlines reach a minimum of a “gold standard” of safety, meaning that the airline clearly meets and exceeds all needed health standards for passenger safety and well-being listed in the questionnaire.

Airlines that exceed the "gold standard" in the 100-point range are designated “platinum” and airlines that reach hospital-grade level health safety with at least 200 points above the "gold standard" will be awarded 2021 Diamond APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying.

Those categories will be announced by each airline individually.

Any airline in the world can participate in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying process free of charge at simpliflying.com/health-safety.  After the initial audit, the airline undergoes a step-by-step verification process, followed by standard level notification.

Thus far, APEX says approximately one-third of all airlines have further enhanced their customer health safety standards after the initial audit review.

"As more travelers return to the skies, APEX wants customers to know the verified steps being taken by airlines worldwide for their well-being," APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader stated. "Every step that we take with airlines to set even higher standards for health safety for passengers ultimately helps keep people safer in the air and on the ground."

apex.aero,  simpliflying.com