How Safe is Domestic Air Travel Amid COVID-19?

Are you hesitant to fly within the country due to the current Covid-19 situation?  Scroll down to read five reasons that warrant domestic flights are absolutely safe during these trying times.

Is domestic air travel safe right now? After the COVID-19 outbreak, people have become squeamish and wary about air travel. In the current scenario, flying is relatively low-risk, and the safest mode of transport as the entire process is contactless.  Airports and airlines have taken stringent steps and implemented rigorous safety protocols to eliminate infection threats during flights. Let’s provide you with some insight on why domestic air travel is considered safe during the pandemic.

Optimal Onboard Ventilation

Thanks to highly sophisticated air circulation systems, the risk of in-flight transmission of the virus is extremely low compared to other indoor spaces.  All aeroplanes use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that have the potential to trap 99.97% of airborne microbes, bacteria, dust particles, and other contaminants. Not to mention, the cabin air is circulated efficiently from overhead inlets to the bottom floor and continuously refreshed every two to three minutes that ensures optimal onboard ventilation.

Enhanced Cleaning Practices

Normally planes get a cursory cleaning, but in a post COVID environment, the aviation sector is carrying out enhanced cleaning procedures to protect travellers during their journey. The carriers are disinfected thoroughly before every flight and also fumigated repeatedly. Flight cabins, ramps, wheelchairs, lavatories, and common surface areas such as armrests, seat belts, window shades, overhead controls, door handles, etc., are scrubbed clean using a high-grade anti-microbial disinfectant that is reportedly effective against viruses.

Health and Safety Kit

It is mandatory for crew members and all passengers over two years to wear face masks that cover the mouth and nose throughout check-in, boarding, during flight, and disembarkation. Masking is a precautionary measure that not only averts the risk of catching COVID-19 but also thwarts the spread of the lethal virus. PPE is readily available, and most domestic airlines provide flyers with a complimentary safety kit that includes single-use face masks/ face shields along with sanitisers.

Safety Protocols for Contactless Journey

Given that the new normal is social distancing, the boarding and deplaning strategies have been modified to minimise physical contact. Six feet markers have been placed at boarding counters, gates, and baggage claims as reminders for travellers to maintain appropriate distancing from others.  And yes, passengers are encouraged to web check-in. Furthermore, the process of generating electronic bag-tags and boarding passes has been enforced to reduce touch-points.

Other Measures for Further Protection

In a bid to ensure safe travel, all passengers must install the Aarogya Setu app on their phones. In addition, pre-flight thermal screenings for temperature checks are conducted at the terminal and all entry points. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4℉ or higher is denied boarding. To mitigate the risk of onboard exposure to coronavirus, food and drink service during the flight is limited, passenger movement is restricted, and leaflets in seatback pockets have been removed. Also, to promote distancing, travellers are requested not to wait in the aisles for the lavatory.

Experts’ Verdict – It is Safe

Now that we have allayed your fears about flying during the pandemic, what’s stopping you from travelling within the country? Whether it’s the busy Mumbai to Hyderabad flight route or a more relaxed route such ass Dehradun to Delhi route, go ahead and hit the skies with confidence for work, pleasure or anything else. Just remember to be safe, responsible, and follow the stipulated guidelines correctly for your wellness and that of your co-passengers. And yes don’t forget to keep earring those miles.