The International Air Transport Association has reassured passengers that Omicron does not seem to have had an adverse effect on in-flight environments.
According to the IATA, “The aircraft cabin remains a very low risk environment for contracting COVID-19, even though Omicron appears to be more transmissible than other variants in all environments.”
IATA’s medical advisor Dr. David Powell noted that factors contributing to these very low risks include aircraft design characteristics (direction of air-flow, rate of air exchange and filtration), the forward orientation of passengers while seated, well-enforced masking, and enhanced sanitary measures.
Furthermore, he said, the controlled nature of the aircraft cabin compared to other enclosed environments added a further measure of protection.
The IATA said public health authorities had not suggested further measures for indoor environments as a result of Omicron, and the association’s advice for travellers, including correctly wearing masks, was unchanged “and even more important”.
(The IATA represents 290 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic.)