Scientific research has shown that the chances of being infected on a flight are extremely low (less than 1% chance). There have been millions of flights since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak resulting in less than 50 confirmed cases of transmission in-flight. There are several reasons why this is the case:
- Seating position – Most of the time on board, you are seated facing forward rather than facing another person. This makes a big difference in terms of the chance of breathing in someone else’s expelled breath.
- Seat backs – A further barrier to COVID-19 spread is that high seatbacks act as a solid barrier.
- High airflow rate – Research has shown that the airflow in an aircraft (from ceiling to floor) is less conductive to droplet spread than other similar environments or modes of transport.
- Air exchange – Modern jet aircraft deliver high airflow and replacement rates, combined with hospital-grade High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that are 99.9+% effective at removing viruses, bacteria and fungi. Cabin air is exchanged every 2-3 minutes.