Qantas has outlined new rules for safe flying which includes staggered boarding and deplaning.
It will provide masks for passengers but there will be no empty middle seat for social distancing.
The airline reckons it is not needed and will only result in big fare increases. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said: “Social distancing on an aircraft is impractical.”
By adhering to the recommended 1.5-metre distance, a 180-seat Airbus A320 would only be able to accommodate 22 passengers.
“That means airfares are going to be eight to nine times more than they are today,” Joyce said. “So if it’s not needed – and it isn’t needed by the medical advice – it definitely economically will not be justified.”
Qantas and Jetstar will offer free masks to passengers but they are not compulsory.
Wipes will be given to all passengers and in-flight service will be minimal to reduce person-to-person contact.
At the airport there will be hand sanitising stations at departure gates and contactless check-in and self-service bag drop is being encouraged.