Doctor Aviation wrote a couple of blogs in the Spring about flying during the Corona Virus. So how has Corona affected summer air travel?
The Wall Street Journal recently published an excellent article on flying precautions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued guidelines. They include the stipulation that many airports and airlines are now requiring masks. I personally recommend the cloth type with flannel inside. It is much more comfortable than the more synthetic/plastic type.
Airliners are doing deeper cleaning on their flights and limiting contact between flight attendants and passengers (think food and beverage service). The good news is the circulation in most cabins. The air is being refreshed every couple of minutes. Nearly 99% of the airborne microbes are blocked by the air filter system.
Again, hearkening back to an earlier blog in Doctor Aviation, be sure to position the air nozzle properly. The small air nozzle above the seat can expound a cone of air in front of the passenger. This cone of air can provide filtered air for breathing.
Travel overseas is often still restricted to essential travel. Within the United States there are restrictions in areas such as New York. However, for the most part states have continued to open up over the summer.
The May 2020 air travel numbers were nothing short of abysmal. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there was an 89% drop in scheduled service passengers from May 2019 to May 2020.
Most of the numbers that I have seen indicate that numbers were down about 80% from the previous year in April and May. By July the number seems to be around 55 to 60% — those numbers are nothing to write home about, but it beats 80%. Personally, I have my mask handy to start out on vacation soon.
Airlines have been parking airplanes and flying crews less often in order to cope with the reduction in air travel. While the numbers have improved over the summer, it will be interesting to see what happens when the Fall arrives.
So meanwhile, if you are heading to the airport. Bring the mask and open that air vent!