Coronavirus: facial masks yes, empty average seats no, says airline bodies | Economic news


The wearing of masks has been recommended by the world air transport industry as one of the measures necessary to resume flight.

But the idea of ​​leaving the middle seats empty was rejected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – a reversal from its previous position.

IATA has presented its proposals as the debate intensifies on how the industry can get back on track while maintaining precautions against COVID-19[female[feminine.

Drastic travel restrictions during the pandemic brought the sector to its knees – with Virgin Atlantic the last to announce thousands of layoffs as it struggles to survive.

British Airways and Ryanair are also axing large parts of their work force as the crisis wipes out income.

Airlines are thinking about how flights can operate safely and in a way that gives passengers confidence.

Ryanair CEO Michael O & # 39; Leary.

Ryanair boss: “We have never faced this in the airline industry”

IATA said it is working with governments and international organizations – including the United Nations Aviation Agency and the World Health Organization – on rules to be applied internationally, which could be announced in June.

He said he would recommend wearing masks and masks on board as part of a series of measures, including screening passengers for fever, as well as improved cleaning procedures and limited movement in the cabin .

Lufthansa in Germany and Hungary Wizz Air have already made it mandatory for customers to wear face masks on the limited flights they still operate.

The concept of social distancing in the sector has been controversial, with The boss of easyJet recently support the idea of ​​leaving the middle seats empty but clean Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary skeptical.

O’Leary told Sky News last week, “Social distancing in an aluminum tube is just not possible. “

IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said in April that leaving the middle seats empty was one of the likely conditions for a resumption of air travel to be discussed with governments – but that position has now changed .

For most airlines, removing a third of the seats would be unaffordable and increase the prospect of more expensive fares for passengers.

The working methods will have to change at the end of the lock.

The return to work process

At a press conference on Tuesday, IATA medical adviser David Powell said the organization’s new position was based on scientific evidence.

“No one has shown that having an empty seat reduces the chances of passing COVID-19 from one person to another,” he said.

Powell also said that recirculated air from planes was not a problem because in modern airplanes it was treated with the same type of filter used in operating rooms.


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