Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The new fear of flying could change face of global aviation

As the US started witnessing a spike in Coronavirus cases in the beginning of March, the executive vice president of the nation’s third-largest airline, South West, put out a blog post detailing how every inch of its aircrafts' interiors was being disinfected after every flight. The blog had pictures of staff using disinfectant-soaked wipes and rubbing everything from toilets, luggage bins, overhead lights and pilot control panels. A lady responded to the post saying “My daughter is on a late flight from Baltimore to Denver. She is sitting next to a woman reading a magazine in Mandarin and is coughing and blowing her nose. Would South West Airlines have screened the woman before boarding the plane? The woman is sitting in the middle seat. My daughter is freaking out, as is her mother.”

This in many ways exemplifies the new fear of flying. And this fear could well change the face of global aviation in the times to come.

Traveller behaviour and attitude towards flying could change radically because an average flyer realises that despite boarding a sanitised aircraft, the risk of being infected with a deadly virus in a pressurised cabin 35,000 feet in the sky is undeniable.
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