An interview with Errol McGlothan, Managing Director (EMEA & APAC), Airport Dimensions. By Ross Falconer
During the course of the pandemic, there has been a noticeable shift in passenger behaviour. Hygiene, safety and the desire to socially distance have become major concerns among many travellers as a result of COVID-19.
“These concerns will remain as greater numbers return to airports, and terminals and waiting areas become more crowded,” begins Errol McGlothan, Managing Director (EMEA & APAC), Airport Dimensions. “We see this as a long-term trend and believe more passengers than ever will seek an increasing range of private space options, including the traditional airport lounge concept and our new sleep pods and cabins.”
Occupancy levels at Airport Dimensions’ new sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounges at Hamad International and Dubai International airports have exceeded expectations.
“The overall feedback we’ve received has been excellent,” says McGlothan. “Comments from travellers have been overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the convenience, privacy and comfort offered by the various sleeping pods and cabins available. Similarly, Dubai International and Doha International have both warmly welcomed the new lounges to their range of services, which have helped increase satisfaction levels among passengers.”
Hygiene has always been a top priority, and this has only increased in importance during the pandemic. At its new sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounges, for example, Airport Dimensions is using cutting-edge nanotechnology disinfectant solutions to neutralise germs and viruses, including COVID-19. Pods and cabins are cleaned and sanitised after every customer check-out, and check-ins and check-outs are now staggered to avoid guests crossing paths and to allow for more cleaning time.
“In addition, PPE is mandatory for staff and guests entering the lounges, and staff temperatures are logged at the beginning and end of shifts,” McGlothan explains. “Airport Dimensions is also part of Collinson – one of the world’s biggest innovators in airport testing – and collectively we are leading the way in protecting passengers and airport workers. For instance, we are working closely with Dr Simon Worrell, Chief Medical Officer at Collinson, whose advice and expertise is helping to shape our hygiene and measures plan globally. Everything we are doing at our lounges is geared towards building passenger confidence and ensuring the safety of all visitors and staff.”
Following the recent success at Hamad International and Dubai International, Airport Dimensions is in active discussions with other airports regarding its sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounges. “We believe this exciting concept is exactly what customers are seeking at this time, and we will provide updates on any new developments in due course,” says McGlothan.
He adds that the focus this year remains to continue a strong programme of airport lounge launches in new territories around the world. At the same time, Airport Dimensions is continuing to adapt and improve its existing lounges to best meet the changing needs of passengers.
“We are keen to play our part in securing a safe return to travel, giving passengers confidence to fly by ensuring our lounge spaces adhere to the most stringent safety requirements and deliver memorable experiences for guests. We have every confidence in the future prospects of travel and are continuing to invest in this sector in order to best meet the needs of passengers returning to the skies.”