IATA masks support the masks, but not the central seat closures for post coronavirus air travel

IATA masks support the masks, but not the central seat closures for post coronavirus air travel

(CNN) – The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a commercial group representing airlines around the world, opposed the blocking of average seats on planes, while recommending passengers and crew members to wear masks on board.
Why is one of these social removal measures better than another? It’s about airlines’ ability to make money.

“Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board aircraft is low,” reads the statement. “The use of the mask by passengers and crew will reduce the already low risk, while avoiding the dramatic increases in air transport costs that would lead to social exclusion measures on board.”

Blocking specific seats will limit the number of tickets that an airline can sell, reducing already low profit margins. In the meantime, the large mask to wear means that every place can be filled.

“Under these conditions, there is no airline that can fly and make money on these flights,” IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac told CNN’s Richard Quest in a recent episode of “Quest Means Business.”

And the most likely scenario would have those costs passed on to customers in the form of more expensive airline tickets.

“Compared to 2019, airfares are expected to rise dramatically – between 43% and 54% depending on the region – only to achieve a tie,” the statement said.

Instead, IATA offers other tips on how everyone can stay safe on board once commercial air travel resumes.

These include the need to screen all cabin crew members and passengers before boarding, limit movements inside the cabin during the flight, more thorough deep cleaning procedures and reduce on-board catering in order to to reduce the amount from person to person personal interaction.

At the moment, it is still up to individual travelers, airlines and airports to decide their mask policies. Several U.S. airlines, including JetBlue, Delta and Frontier have announced that they will require passengers to wear masks on board.
Frontier, however, went a step further by stating that it would allow passengers to ensure that the central seat in their row would be free – at an additional cost, obviously.

In addition, some countries are taking large-scale actions.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the ruling that all passengers on the plane on flights to and from the country, including passengers in transit who do not leave the airport, must wear some sort of face liner. This policy entered into force on April 20.

Scottie Andrew, Marnie Hunter and Amir Vera from CNN contributed to the news.

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