AS increasingly more airlines release details of their plans for flights to Spain and other European holiday destinations this summer, they are making a point of reassuring passengers that the air they breathe on planes is safe in order to gain public trust on the prevention of risk from possible coronavirus infection.
In line with the new Covid-19 reality, companies are making face masks compulsory for crew and passengers as a preventative safety measure and stressing that aircraft will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
But the airlines are also making a concerted effort to inform travellers about air flow and air filters, subjects which almost certainly most people making flight plans didn’t give much thought to before the pandemic.
When easyJet announced it would be back in the skies on June 15 its press release stressed that its planes “are equipped with the most advanced air filtration technology.”
It said it is using ‘High Efficiency Particulate Air’ (HEPA) filters “with the capacity to capture 99.97 per cent of contaminants transported by the air, including viruses and bacteria.
“These filters are the same as those used in hospitals,” easyJet affirmed, explaining, “it is through them that the air in the cabin is constantly filtered and substituted with fresh air introduced into the cabin every three to four minutes.”
Air France too reported that air in its aircraft cabins is renewed every three minutes as its aircraft are equipped with HEPA, identical to those used in hospital operating theatres.
German charter airline Condor, which plans to be operating connections between eight German airports and 29 holiday hotspots from June 25 onwards, said much the same.
CEO Ralf Teckentrup insisted air quality on board the company’s aircraft is comparable to that of a German hospital operating room due to the direction of the air flow and the filters installed.
Lufthansa is yet another which made a point of reporting that its aircraft “equipped with the highest quality air filters, which guarantee air quality similar to that in an operating theatre,” and what’s more, “the air circulates vertically instead of being distributed throughout the cabin.”