Routes Reconnected: On the way to DUScovery – fly worry-free from Düsseldorf
Getting on a plane without worrying – whether it’s for business reasons, a family celebration, or a beach holiday – is possible from Düsseldorf. How? North Rhine-Westphalia’s (NRW) largest airport, together with the state capital, the airlines, suppliers, authorities, and other partners, has created an extensive protocol for hygiene and health protection. Its main goal is to provide passengers and staff the best possible protection from COVID-19 infection.
Highly visible information on monitors in the terminal building, floor markers, and pictograms emphasize the distancing and hygiene regulations. Additionally, terminal announcements are made in German, English, and Turkish. The cleaning intervals for sanitary facilities have been increased, dispensers for disinfectant have been set up in the terminal, and service staff enforce minimum distances. Counter and work stations with direct customer contact are equipped with protective screens. The final step is confidence in passengers, visitors, and personnel to wear masks in the terminal at all times and to keep minimum distances.
Thanks to its good infrastructure, DUS has had a phased recovery that has been faster than at other German airports. One important factor in this is the so-called ethnic travel: every third person in NRW has a migrant background. We are thus talking about 31% of the population in and around Düsseldorf. All of them being potential passengers to regularly visit family in, for example, Turkey, Poland, or Russia.
During this year’s summer holidays, the airport counted nearly one million passengers. This shows that DUS succeeded in creating a safe environment for passengers and personnel in uncertain times. Our sails are set, and as soon as the external politics and health signals permit it, the airport is ready to start anew with full speed.
When passenger planes become cargo planes
Until then, cooperation is more important than ever. Since April, cargo flights have been landing regularly at Düsseldorf carrying medical supplies, such as masks, protective suits, and disposable gloves, from China to Germany. This could be a fully loaded Boeing 777 by Emirates SkyCargo from China via Dubai carrying about 35 tons and 4,600 packages of relief supplies.
Passenger planes are also helping out. For example, since April, Condor has operated more than 30 arrivals of loaded Boeing 767 passenger planes from Shenzhen and Shanghai via Almaty in Kazakhstan. Its cargo varied between eight and twelve tons of protective masks. In total, about 340 tons and 40,000 packages have been transported to date.