China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 華航) on Friday said it is taking additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, saying that it would take employees’ temperatures before they enter offices or take shuttle buses to airports.
State-owned CAL, which had asked its employees to take their temperatures by themselves since the outbreak began in late January, said it would take staff’s temperatures before they board shuttles to airport terminals, starting today.
“Employees with temperatures higher than 37°C would not be allowed to board shuttles and would be advised to take a day off. We are very cautious,” company spokesman Jason Liu (劉朝洋) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
Employees who do not take company buses would have their temperatures measured before entering offices or airport terminals, Liu said.
The company also plans to divide employees within departments into groups to work in separate places to reduce the possibility of transmission, he said.
It did not intend to ask staff to work from home for the time being, but it would adjust its measures in line with instructions from the Central Epidemic Command Center.
Still, the company is encouraging employees to take as much of their annual leave as possible before the end of June, given a lower ridership and as most flights between Taiwan and China have been canceled amid the virus outbreak.
In an internal letter to its 10,000 employees on Monday last week, CAL said the effects of the outbreak have been like an “avalanche,” and it asked for understanding and cooperation if the situation worsens and stricter measures become necessary.
The company has already cut executive salaries by 10 percent.
“Even when the epidemic ends, the company will need more time than before to recover,” the letter reads, citing experience with the SARS epidemic in 2002.
The COVID-19 outbreak has severely undercut its operations, the airline said.
It canceled 1,400 flights last month and suspended about 3,000 flights this month, with another 2,100 flights expected to be cut next month, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on Monday.
EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) has also asked its employees to take time off amid continued low travel demand.
Meanwhile, StarLux Airlines Co (星宇航空) has grounded flights to Penang, Malaysia, from Saturday given low demand to travel abroad during the outbreak.
The flight suspension would continue through the end of April, it said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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