One of the most adversely affected industry because of the global pandemic remains the aviation industry. Every airline is struggling to get back on its feet. With low air travel demand and flight restrictions, things do not seem to be going very good for airlines at the moment. This is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. To tackle the threat of COVID-19, many airlines and airport bodies emphasised on the need for social distancing. However, things are not that simple. Emirates said that it is unrealistic to think that social distancing in flights is the answer.
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Emirates Says Social Distancing to Only Increase Cost
Emirates believes that social distancing in flights by leaving a few seats empty would only increase the cost of air travel for everyone. It wouldn’t even promise that social distancing is taking place inside the aircraft. The airline has resumed its domestic as well as international operations already. It has plans for flying to 58 destinations by mid-August.
Emirates is not in a very great position. It already had to cut down 10% of its workforce. If the things go downhill for some more time, the airline could let go another 5% of its workforce. It will result in 9,000 people losing their jobs.
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IATA Also Believes Leaving Seats Empty Not the Right Thing to Do
International Air Transport Association (IATA) also said very long back that leaving seats empty doesn’t guarantee social distancing. All it does guarantee is the increased flight fare for everyone. Many airlines and industry regulators are going with the view that leaving middle seats empty would implement social distancing.
But the fact is that the distance between two seats even after leaving the middle one empty is way too less to enforce distancing. Thus if those seats are left empty, the average flight cost would increase for the airline. This will add into the hike of base airfares for the customer. That too when there is no social distancing. So the passenger would be essentially paying more for nothing.