Putting air travel and Covid-19 into perspective

Putting air travel and Covid-19 into perspective
AIR TRAVEL: ‘Minimal’ risk of contracting Covid-19 Credit: Pixabay

WINNING the Primitiva lottery is more likely than catching Covid-19 aboard an aircraft.

That was the conclusion of an investigation carried out for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents the principal airlines as well as Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.

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According to the report, 44 “confirmed, probable and potential” Covid-19 cases are believed to have been associated with air travel since the beginning of 2020.

As 1.2 billion people flew during this time, air passengers had one chance in 27 million of contracting the disease, the IATA investigation insisted.

Getting up all six numbers in the Primitiva lottery with just one bet would be twice as easy, with odds of one chance in 13.9 million, the report maintained.

The investigation’s authors admitted that this figure could be underestimating the real number of cases, bearing in mind that some might not have been notified to the authorities.

But even if 90 per cent of cases were unreported, the likelihood of contracting the disease remains minimal, with one Covid case for every 2.7 million air travellers.

“We believe these figures are extremely reassuring,” declared Dr David Powell, IATA’s medical adviser.

“What is more, most of these cases occurred before generalised use of facemasks on flights,” he said.


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