Qantas implements ‘Fly Well’ program but no on-board social distancing

20 May 2020

Written by: Giacomo Bruno

The airline will begin filling middle seats again over practicality issues.

As of the 12th of June, Australian airline Qantas will implement its ‘Fly Well’ program as it takes COVID-19 precaution measures. But its CEO Alan Joyce insists that in-flight social distancing is not necessary.

Despite the airline implementing a policy which kept the middle seat free in response to social distancing measures last month, Joyce said at a press conference that the airline would not continue this as it is not practical.

“If we take the middle seat, airfares will probably go up by around 50 percent, but even the middle seat only gives you 60 centimetres between passengers.”

The airline believes that passengers are at an “extremely low risk” of contracting the virus on board the plane. Qantas medical director Dr Ian Hosegood says there are varying factors that make it low risk.

“That’s due to a combination of factors, including the cabin air filtration system, the fact people don’t sit face-to-face and the high backs of aircraft seats acting as a physical barrier.”

Key measures of the ‘Fly Well’ program will include contactless check-in and self-serve bag drops prior to boarding. On board, masks will be provided to all passengers and sequenced boarding and disembarking to minimise crowding.

The program will be reviewed after its first month of operation and shaped by customer feedback and medical advice.


Photo: QANTAS A380 VH-OQF 4974 by Vismay Bhadra is available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.