Dr Michael Fonso, speaking on behalf of easyJet, claims that “social distancing is simply not practical on a plane” (EasyJet flights return amid concerns over physical distancing, 15 June), even though the airline’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, had previously proposed sealing off middle seats. The rail industry, at the government’s direction, has successfully closed up to three-quarters of train seats to maintain physical distancing.
Fully occupied planes are just as dangerous as fully occupied trains, buses and trams, with the additional greater risk of spreading the disease very much further, which is why our government is belatedly introducing quarantine. Allowing airlines to return to the previous full-planes business model risks a rapid resurgence of the disease.
Properly distanced seats would result in higher fares, fewer passengers and fewer flights – also good for the environment. Any lesser action would be the height of folly, and would enable planes once more to act as highly effective airborne vectors of disease – just like mosquitoes.
Dr Jim Ford
Consultant occupational physician, Southport, Merseyside