Every airline in the world is waiting for the restrictions to be lifted and routine operations to resume. One such airline is Qantas. Australia is soon going to allow regular flights to take place and is also going to open some of its international routes. With this in perspective, Qantas is hoping that they can fill their flights middle seats with people as well. Most of the airlines around the world have been taking measures such as leaving the middle seats empty to ensure ‘social distancing’ is maintained. But the CEO of Qantas Group, Alan Joyce says that they don’t want to go that way. They want to fill the middle seats with passengers.
Qantas Ensuring Safe Flights for Passengers
Qantas is already operating some of the repatriation flights in international routes and there has been not a single case of COVID-19 transmission registered that happened to any of their travellers. The airline is taking strict measures to ensure that the passengers who board the flight are not infected from COVID-19. At the same time, extensive cleaning of the airline's planes is being carried out so that it is entirely safe for the passengers and the cabin crew to fly.
IATA Believes in the Same Approach as Well
Alan Joyce said that even if the airline left the middle seats vacant, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. The minimum distance between two people to ensure social distancing is taking place is one meter. But leaving the middle seats empty would mean that the passengers are at a length of only 60 centimetres. This defeats the whole purpose of social distancing and at the same time, only increases the base airfares for the passengers. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also believes that the airlines should not leave the middle seats empty as it would not achieve the social distancing norms anyway but only increase the price of the ticket. IATA said that even though there is very less evidence, but it is improbable to contract the virus while travelling from the air because of the strict screening that is ensured at the airports.