2020 Research Indicated Airline Flights Are Low Risk for COVID-19
Ready to fly or not, new research continues to surface about the safety of air travel in 2020. Recently, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), released research that reflects a low incidence of inflight COVID-19 transmission. Insights for the study came from multiple travel industry sources. However, each simulation demonstrated that current virus prevention efforts have been effective.
The press release indicates that 1.2 billion passengers have traveled since the start of 2020. Only 44 COVID-19 cases have been associated with flight travel during that same time period. IATA’s Medical Advisor, Dr. David Powell is quoted within the article as saying, “The risk of a passenger contracting COVID-19 while onboard appears very low. With only 44 identified potential cases of flight-related transmission among 1.2 billion travelers, that’s one case for every 27 million travelers. We recognize that this may be an underestimate but even if 90% of the cases were unreported, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travelers. We think these figures are extremely reassuring. Furthermore, the vast majority of published cases occurred before the wearing of face coverings inflight became widespread,” said Dr. David Powell, IATA’s Medical Advisor.
A Layered Approach to Preventative Measures
The report credits the low in-flight spread of COVID-19 to the layered approach of preventative measures that are being taken by the airlines. The airlines are using High-efficiency Particulate Air filters (HEPA), mandatory mask-wearing, reduced movement within the cabin, and simplified onboard services.
A Positive Outlook
The IATA report is favorable for the airlines. This news is also promising for the travel and tourism industries that have been extremely hard hit by the pandemic restrictions. Reports such as the IATA release are being closely watched by Event Planners who are beginning to bring live conferences back to life as hybrid events, offering attendees the option of attending live in-person or virtually. As businesses begin to awaken in many states following multi-phase reopening plans, major airline brands say air travel is starting to see an uptick. The outlook for an additional increase in travel is looking likely over the holidays as well. Our team at MB4 Productions hopes everyone can stay safe at home, in-flight, or while enjoying events, live or virtual.