Ahead of flight resumption on Wednesday, EgyptAir says it will not require social distancing on board planes

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jun 2020

EgyptAir Airbus A320neo aircraft on the tarmac at Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, in the Red Sea resort city at the southern of the Sinai peninsula, This picture taken on June 20, 2020 shows a view of an AFP

EgyptAir CEO Rushdi Zakaria said on Tuesday that the company would not mandate social distancing on its planes, as all passengers will be required to wear masks

Egypt’s national carrier is set to resume international flights on Wednesday.

In a TV interview on “This Morning” on DMC channel, Zakaria said precautionary procedures had been taken in accordance with the guidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), starting with the entry of passengers to airports.

“The passengers’ temperatures will be measured and anyone with a temperature higher than 38 degrees won’t be allowed on board the plane and will be directed to more tests,” Zakaria said, adding that Egyptian airports have been fitted out with social distancing floor signs.

All planes will be sterilised before flights and that all crews will wear masks, he said.

The planes will also be equipped with a special filter that kills 99 percent of viruses and microbes.

“A bag of precautionary supplies will be distributed to all the passengers on the flights regardless of their ticket class,” he said, adding that all the meals on the plane will be sealed and no hot beverages or magazines will be offered.

Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar Ennaba has said previously that there would be no automatic empty seats on planes to create distancing between passengers, given the huge losses airline companies have endured during the recent period.

The IATA said in May that leaving seats free would see airlines incur major losses, while it would not greatly affect passenger safety.

Zakaria also hinted that all the tickets booked during the period of the flight suspension are still valid.

Egypt suspended international flights in March to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

EgyptAir has said it will resume flights gradually from Wednesday, with flights to and from 17 destinations in Europe, four destinations in Africa, four destinations in the Middle East, three destinations in North America, and Guangzhou in China. 

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