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IATA Backs Use Of Face Masks On Flights But Refuses To Leave Middle Seat Empty

IATA agrees to the use of face masks by crew and passengers on flights but does not back the notion of physical distancing on aircraft.

IATA accepts the use of face masks on flights

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, there have reportedly been talks that after normalcy is restored it could become the new norm for both the crew and passengers to wear marks on aeroplanes. According to reports, there have also been suggestions that airline leaves the middle seat of every row on flights empty in an effort to continue social dancing norms to a degree but the International Air Transport Association has been vehemently against the idea of leaving the middle seats in aircrafts empty.

No need for physical distancing on flights: IATA

As per reports, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed the opinion that there is no need to leave the middle seats empty in flights once normalcy returns because the risk of people catching the coronavirus one a plane was very low. On the other hand, the IATA has reportedly backed the suggestions of both the crew and passengers wearing masks during the flights but I vehemently against the idea of physical distancing that would force them to keep the middle seat empty.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, countries have been forced into weeks of lockdowns and this has caused the aviation industry to suffer greatly, the industry has lost billions while their fleets have been forced to remain grounded.

Read: Aviation Ministry Website Crashes As Indians Abroad Scramble To Return Home Amid COVID

Read: 64 Flights Will Operate To Bring Back Indians Stranded Abroad: Aviation Min Shares Details

As per reports, IATA said that the reason why the chance of infection on planes is low because the passengers always face forward and there is very limited face-to-face interaction, on top of that the seats form a pseudo barrier to the person in front. Thus, the aviation body believes that leaving the middle seat empty is unnecessary. The aviation body also stated that physical distancing measures like leaving the middle seat empty would change the economics of air travel and would make flying much more costly.

Read: PM Modi Chairs Key Meetings With Education, Aviation & Power Sector Ahead Of Lockdown 3.0

Read: Union Minister Puri Lauds Aviation Professionals For Transporting 591 Tonnes Of Essentials

Coronavirus outbreak

After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed over 270,721 lives worldwide as of May 8. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to over 209 countries and has infected at least 3,917,653 people. Out of the total infections, 1,344,178 have recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives.

(Representative Image)(Image Credit AP)

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