Published 28 December 2021
International Air Transport Association (IATA) has stated that plane cabins are low-risk environments for COVID-19 pandemics, including the Omicron variant.
IATA says that the following factors contribute to the very low risk of an aircraft’s design (direction of airflow and rate of air exchange and filter), forward orientation of passengers while seated, well enforced masking, and enhanced sanitation measures.
IATA stated that the quality and safety of the air onboard an aircraft is superior to most indoor environments. It also stated that the aircraft cabin is a very low risk environment for COVID-19. The Omicron strain seems to be more easily transmissible than other variants.
According to the airline, COVID-19 is very unlikely due to other cabin features such as the mandatory use of masks onboard and the requirements for testing and/or vaccination certificates.
Omicron has not prompted public health authorities to recommend any additional measures for indoor environments. IATA’s advice for travelers, which includes correctly wearing masks, remains unchanged.
IATA is a trade organization of all world airlines that was founded in 1945. Since then, IATA has been called a cartel.
IATA sets technical standards for airlines and organizes tariff conferences that allow price-fixing.
IATAs member airlines represent approximately 82% of total air traffic. They include 290 airlines representing 117 countries. IATA supports airline activity and helps to create industry standards and policy. It has its headquarters in Canada, Montral, and executive offices in Geneva, Switzerland.