American carriers ramp-up safety measures as travelers start returning to the skies

Both JetBlue and United Airlines have announced new safety measures that will be put in place for passengers using their airlines in a bid to restore confidence in air travel.

With the re-opening if U.S. states, an increase in domestic travel is anticipated and green shoots of a recovery from a pandemic which has seen global air travel decimated, sprouting, there is likely to be a spike in air travel numbers over the extended U.S. holiday weekend and Memorial Day on Monday.

Though U.S. airlines have drastically cut their schedules and number of operational flights, there are reports that some flights have been operating at 70% capacity. However, a number of recent social media posts, which have gone ‘viral’, showing overcrowded planes and little sign of any ‘social distancing’ – a practice that is admittedly difficult to perform in such an enclosed space and the cabin of an aircraft – have had a further negative effect.

JetBlue has made it clear that it will ‘block’ a number of seats on all domestic flights up until July 6, crew members’ temperatures will be checked, and cabins will be disinfected between flights through the use of electrostatic fogging. United Airlines has vowed to cap capacity at 60% up to the end of June, while Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, has also confirmed the carrier will also limit capacity to 60% or below.

European air and health regulators have now issued new guidelines for safe air travel, though these do not require any temperature checks. The guidelines recommend the wearing of masks and barring people who are neither traveling nor working from entering airport terminals, except in rare cases.

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