What we know about Southwest’s International Flights
Due to the closure of Belize’s international airport mid-March, Belize has seen no commercial flights apart from repatriations during Phase 3 of Belize’s Travel Reopening Plan. On August 15, Belize is slated to reopen its international airport for leisurely travel. While Southwest has resumed service to other Caribbean destinations, flights to Belize are not expected to resume until 2021.
Southwest Implementing Changes to Aircraft Cleaning
As the company returns to a standard turnaround time, cleaning procedures have been narrowed down to areas with greater risk of contamination and high-touch areas, including lavatories and tray tables. A memo sent out to flight attendants of the airlines shared with USA today sheds light on Southwest’s new cleaning procedures. As of August 1st, lavatories and tray tables will continue to be disinfected before each take off between each flight under the new policy. However, the armrests and seat belts will not be wiped down until the plane’s nightly cleaning session.
These changes have brought some concerns regarding the prevention of the virus. Nevertheless, the company has assured they are taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
To further cleanliness and ease customer concern, each plane undergoes a “deep” electrostatic cleaning once a month. That process kills bacteria on contact for 30 days.
– Ro Hawthorne, a spokesperson for Southwest as told to USA Today
Other precautions include the blocking of middle seats to maintain space between passengers through to at least October. In addition, Southwest is providing sanitizing wipes to customers, upon request, to wipe down any onboard surface. Read more at USA Today.
Service by Southwest to Belize is expected to remain suspended for the remainder of 2020. However before the pandemic, Southwest routes to Belize came from Houston (Hobby) and Ft. Lauderdale, with seasonal direct flights from Denver, Colorado as well.