Although there are no studies to determine what the chances of passengers becoming infected with the new coronavirus on air travel, airlines saw global traffic drop by almost 80% in July 2020, compared to the same period last year. Such vehicles need an occupancy of 70% to 80% to generate profits, and many of those who continue to fly are carrying only half of their maximum capacity. In order to revert the situation, companies in the industry are dedicating themselves to researching changes in the cabins to provide security in transportation.
Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating, a German manufacturer of aircraft accessories, explains that easy-to-maneuver, light and short-term solutions are needed. These include headrests and fabric barriers between the seats that allow accommodation free of contact with other people and that, consequently, reduce the chances of spreading covid-19. “There is definitely great interest from all regions”, says the executive.
With the measures, it is expected that the interest of the public will increase and that the operations will reach a level better than that currently found.
It is possible that more details should be considered, as the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in which it claims to have found evidence that such travel is indeed dangerous.
In the article, which evaluated the transmission of the new coronavirus on an evacuation flight from Italy to South Korea in late March, in which 7 passengers were contaminated even with the use of protective equipment, it was discovered that the outbreak may have occurred by the shared use of one of the bathrooms. Those infected were in total quarantine for three weeks before the event.
In any case, Recaro has also developed a disinfectant seat cover. According to the German, the substance was reformulated to repel viruses, including Sars-CoV-2. “Even if the airlines do not buy new planes, they can opt for more comfortable cabins or adapted to the covid”, concludes Hiller.