Airline industry calls for global safety measures to reassure passengers

Compulsory face masks for airline passengers are among a raft of suggestions being put forward by the airline industry as it looks for ways to recover from the Covid-19 travel bans.

Airlines and airports are calling for internationally agreed measures to be locked in before the aviation sector begins its recovery phase as Covid-19 restrictions start to be lifted gradually.

The compulsory face mask suggestion is one way airlines are looking at restoring passenger confidence once numbers start to increase again as trying to impose social distancing on planes or airports is near to impossible.

The UK’s Heathrow airport is among those calling for a “common international standard for safe air travel”.

However, there is much debate of the effectiveness of face masks in preventing transmission, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying the “wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risk”.

Air Asia’s new look safety uniform.

Wearing a mask can create a “false sense of security, leading to potentially less adherence to other preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene”, WHO warns.

The call comes after budget carrier Air Asia recently unveiled new protective gear for its cabin crew. Designed by Filipino fashion designer Puey Quinones, the new uniforms were launched on April 24 during an Air Asia recovery flight from Bangkok to Manila.