Published on : Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Finland’s flag carrier Finnair recently announced that it has decided to introduce new health and safety protocols focusing on measures that need to be undertaken to combat the risk and threat of coronavirus. The airline mentioned in a recent press statement that it will try to isolate symptomatic passengers if there is a strong suspicion of coronavirus infection. It will also allow only one cabin crew with the suspected person and even arrange for a separate washroom if possible. They will also be asked to wear a surgical face mask.
According to reports, the airline will also put plexiglass guards between airport staff and passengers at check-in. All travelers would be asked to wear face masks on the plane and cleaning wipes would also be distributed. All passengers (other than symptomatic individuals) will, however, have to use one less lavatory if there is a suspected coronavirus case during the flight. There also remains a good better chance of arranging an empty section of the cabin to isolate a suspected individual as flights are operating with a decreased capacity due to low travel demand.
The situation would also mean that the passenger-to-lavatory ratio can be quite generous and the loss of one lavatory might not make much of a difference. However, the initiative can only be executed upon favorable conditions. It is less likely to take place on a full or near-full flight. In fact, staff might also fail to accommodate the suspected individual a separate space for isolation on full capacity flights.
However, the probability of finding a suspected case onboard seems unlikely due to various restrictions. In addition, travelers experiencing symptoms are likely to cancel or reschedule their flights. Airline staff can also decline to board a passenger if any symptom is noticed. Finnair will also examine passengers and would not allow anyone experiencing respiratory infection to board a flight.