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IATA figures show that transmission of COVID is negligible on flights

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IATA figures show that transmission of COVID is negligible on flights

The International Air Transport Association said there have been just 44 cases of Covid-19 in which transmission is thought to have been associated with a flight. Click here to read the full story.

The figures cover the period from the start of 2020, during which about 1.2 billion passengers have travelled on planes.

Dr David Powell, Iata’s medical advisor, said: “The risk of a passenger contracting Covid-19 while onboard appears very low.

“With only 44 identified potential cases of flight-related transmission among 1.2 billion travellers, that’s one case for every 27 million travellers.

“We recognise that this may be an underestimate but even if 90% of the cases were un-reported, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travellers."

The figures come from joint research by manufacturers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer which shows that airflow systems on aircraft do control the movement of particles in the cabin, limiting the spread of viruses.

Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and chief executive, said: “Nothing is completely risk-free. But with just 44 published cases of potential inflight Covid-19 transmission among 1.2 billion travellers, the risk of contracting the virus on board appears to be in the same category as being struck by lightning.”

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