The coronavirus continues to put pressure on the airline industry. Currently, airline activity seems to have found a point of equilibrium around the 90% decline.
Measures taken to ensure passenger safety
And recovery to pre-crisis activity levels is not expected for years to come. To guarantee the safety of passengers forced to fly, preventive measures were taken by most airlines from the very beginning of the crisis. The airline Lufthansa, for example, had changed its boarding procedure and the arrangement of passengers in the aircraft as early as the beginning of March.
Thus, in order to respect social distancing measures, passengers in the rear of Lufthansa aircraft are the first to board. In economy class, where passenger density is highest, the middle seats remain vacant for the same purpose.
These measures were also followed by Delta Air Lines at the beginning of April, and easyJet has announced its intention to do the same as soon as its business resumes.
For the time being, these are only temporary measures. But when air travel resumes, it is highly likely that the coronavirus will still pose a risk to passengers. The response provided by airlines to this problem will therefore have to be, if not permanent, at least applicable in the medium term.
The solutions proposed by Aviointeriors
The outbreak at Covid-19 may well change the way we're settling in on the airplanes.
Indeed, to enable airlines to prepare for the omnipresence of the virus and guaranteeing the safety of passengers, the company Aviointeriors offers two solutions.
One of them is called Janus, and it refurbishes the entire cabin. The passenger in the middle seat is in the opposite direction, and the passengers are protected from the projections of others by transparent walls, easily disinfectable.
The other solution, called Glassafe, is more in line with the airlines' cash flow constraints. Unlike Janus, Glassafe does not require a complete refurbishment of the passenger cabin. It is simply a transparent shell to be fixed on the upper part of the seat, thus protecting the passenger from splashes.
But Aviointerior's solutions are not unanimously accepted by the industry. Ryanair, in particular, was not convinced by the idea. For Michael O'Leary, CEO of the company, the idea is "crazy" and not very useful. It requires too much investment for a system that does not allow passengers to keep their distance from each other. Moreover, he adds that this solution does not take into account travel before boarding. He believes that individual protection remains the best way to guarantee passenger safety.