Boarding planes could take FOUR HOURS with added health checks and much higher ticket prices after lockdown ends, experts warn
- Experts claim pre-flight health checks will be mandatory and take much longer
- To maintain social distancing flights would only be allowed 20 per cent capacity
- This mean prices would rocket to make them profitable and some routes cut
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Boarding a plane could take up to four hours when passengers are allowed to fly again once the coronavirus lockdown eases, it was claimed today.
Flyers could be asked to arrive at airports four hours in advance to allow for health checks and social distancing measures, one expert warns.
Flights will be more expensive because airlines will only be allowed to have a limited number of people on board to ensure they stay two metres apart.
This will push up ticket prices and make for an ‘uncomfortable’ flying experience for as long as another five years, another travel expert told The Times.
Boarding a plane could take up to four hours when passengers are allowed to fly again once the coronavirus lockdown easest, according to some experts. Pictured: A man boards a plane at an empty Barcelona airport yesterday
Andrew Charlton, managing director of the consultancy Aviation Advocacy, told the newspaper: ‘Even if it starts raining vaccines tonight, we are still looking at two years at least to get back to levels seen before the outbreak, and it is probably going to be more like five years.
‘There will be fewer flights, fewer seats available, prices will go up and there will be very uncomfortable conditions because of the demands to wear personal protective equipment and maintain social distancing.’
Earlier this month, easyJet announced it plans to keep middle seats empty on its planes when it restarts flights.
But Airline analyst Chris Tarry claims maintaining a two-metre gap between passengers would mean 80 per cent of seats would have to be empty.
To make sure airlines are still profitable, they will have to hike up ticket prices exponentially, he told The Times.
It would also mean that scarcely-used routes would be abolished too.
Air travel has plummeted worldwide to stop the spread of coronavirus from country to country, with airports almost left empty except for a small number of repatriation flights.
Flights will be more expensive because airlines will only be allowed to have a limited number of people on board to ensure they stay two metres apart. File image used
British Airways revealed it has plans to make 12,000 workers – a quarter of its entire workforce – redundant after being hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Virgin Atlantic has gone into administration in Australia with founder Sir Richard Branson desperately trying to cling onto the UK business.
Wizz Air will become the first commercial airline to start operating again in the UK tomorrow, but says all passengers must wear facemasks.
It will operate 15 routes out of Luton Airport to a range of destinations including Budapest, Lisbon and Tenerife.
Wizz Air will become the first commercial airline to start operating again in the UK tomorrow, but says all passengers must wear facemasks. File image used
Lufthansa is starting up again on Monday, but has told all passengers to wear a facemask or scarf that covers their mouth and nose.
The Government has made it clear that foreign travel will be off the cards for most people in 2020.
Those hoping to still jet off on their summer holidays will be disappointed, with many European destinations such as Italy, Spain and France brutally hit by the virus.
Ministers have told Britons not to swap their getaways with staycations either, warning that beauty spots such as Cornwall and Snowdonia do not have the NHS infrastructure to cope if visitors fall ill.
On cruise ships, passengers will also face stringent medical checks.
The UK’s biggest cruise liner P&O is developing plans to introduce a series of ‘rigorous measures’ to ensure it obeys international health guidelines when it restarts operations once the coronavirus pandemic recedes.
Other changes being considered include reducing the capacity of ships, scrapping self-service buffets and implementing one-way systems on board.