Working together to make your journey safe, secure and comfortable #ReadyToFly

As the world starts looking at reopening after the Covid-19 lockdown, there is an understandable desire to travel again - to see family or friends, to do business or simply to go on holiday. Many passengers may be concerned about travelling at this time. The whole aviation industry is working together to ensure that when you decide to fly again, that journey will be as safe as possible. This effort involves governments, airlines, airports, the makers of aircraft and United Nations agencies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

No public space is completely free of risk, but by working together we can reduce that risk considerably. In many cases, a flight is much lower risk than some other public spaces. Here's how we are using a 'layered' approach to post-Covid-19 travel.

The aviation industry recommends the use of face masks throughout passenger journeys.

Before you fly

  • Passengers should try and complete as much of the check-in process as possible at home.
  • Destinations should encourage the use of electronic visa and customs declaration processes ahead of departure.
  • Contact tracing, health declarations and immunisation information, if needed, should be via online declarations in advance of travel (where possible).
  • Travel restrictions due to Covid-19 are constantly changing. Travellers should refer to the IATA Travel Center for updates. There is also a website with forward-looking travel information for European Union countries.

Getting to the airport

  • Ensure you take all necessary precautions if using public transport to get to the airport, including wearing a mask and taking hand sanitiser.

At the airport

  • Enhanced and more frequent cleaning and disinfection of facilities will be undertaken by all parts of the airport community.
  • Physical distancing – at least 1m between passengers (where possible, and in accordance with local guidelines).
  • Terminals to be restricted to passengers, staff and passenger support providers (for example, those escorting passengers with reduced mobility or unaccompanied children).
  • Where available, contactless check-in kiosks or physical distanced check-in processes should be used.
  • We encourage the use of self-boarding processes (where possible).
  • Reduction in seating capacity at gate lounge and restaurants to encourage physical distancing (in line with local practices).
  • Where possible, use of touch-free systems in restrooms, or automatic doors, etc.
  • Rapid testing of passengers, if and when it becomes available.
Airport Diagram

On board the aircraft

We understand that the environment on board an aircraft may be an area of concern for passengers. However, modern aircraft have very sophisticated systems in place to ensure a healthy environment - in fact, it may be less risky than many other public spaces. Passengers may notice some alterations to the normal flying routine as part of efforts to layer protections.

  • Slight changes to boarding processes to reduce passenger interaction.
  • Reduction in interaction between passengers and with crew: streamlined food service or reduction in blankets and pillows, removal of newspapers and magazines, spacing out passenger seating assignments if the flight is not full, passengers should also limit carry-on baggage.
  • Enhanced and more frequent cleaning and disinfection of the passenger cabin and flight deck before flights and deep cleaning overnight.
  • Encouraging the use of masks by passengers as an added layer of protection.
On Board Diagram

On top of that, the way that the passenger cabin is designed on modern aircraft helps reduce transmission of viruses:

  • Modern aircraft are equipped with HEPA filters which are 99.9+% effective at removing viruses, bacteria and fungi.
  • Cabin air is renewed every 2-3 minutes (by comparison, most other public building systems change air every 10-20 minutes).
  • Cabin air renewal is around 50% fresh from the outside mixed with and 50% HEPA-filtered (some aircraft have slightly different ratios).
  • Air flows from top to bottom of cabin in ‘bands’, not along the length of the aircraft.
  • Air from galleys and lavatories is directly exhausted outside the aircraft.
  • Passengers on aircraft are all facing forward and with seats acting as barriers, further reducing risk of transmission.

People sometimes report getting a runny nose or cough after long flights. This is often caused by the nose and throat responding to the dry cabin air rather than a virus that has been picked up. You are less likely to get a virus on an aircraft compared with most other enclosed spaces such as trains and buses, or even restaurants due to sophisticated air flow and filtration systems on board. However, no place is completely low-risk and we recommend wearing a mask throughout the journey as an added layer of protection.

Airflow Diagram

At the arrival airport

  • Where possible, automatic passport processing gates should be encouraged (with regular disinfection).
  • If required by local authorities, health screening (including thermal cameras) should be rapid and unobtrusive.
  • Selective screening of passengers from higher-risk flight origins should be separated from passengers arriving from lower-risk destinations.

Working together

The whole aviation industry is working collaboratively to make your journey safe - from airports to airlines, the makers of aircraft, government authorities and the air traffic management system is dedicated to this task. Further resources for passengers can be found here:

In addition, the industry has been active in helping to support the fight against Covid-19 through a range of measures to ensure people can get home to flying medical supplies all over the world, despite a the devastating impact that this pandemic has had on our business and the lives of millions of people around the world.