Can I Catch COVID on a Plane? –

This year, it is a question that many individuals have asked-can I catch COVID on a plane? The possibility of in-flight transmission of the COVID coronavirus is of worry to many passengers. However, COVID airplane transmission chances are minimal as per the International Air Transport Association ( IATA).

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 44 confirmed cases of in-flight COVID transmission, according to IATA. It covers anticipated cases as well as confirmed cases. Over this time, 1.2 billion passengers traveled by plane, equal to one COVID-19 passenger for every 27 million passengers traveling, reported by Travel Daily Media.

We agree that this could be an exaggeration, but even if 90 % of cases were not registered, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travelers. We think these statistics are highly reassuring,’ said IATA Medical Advisor Dr. David Powell. Also, the vast majority of reported cases occurred before wearing inflight facial coverings became common.’

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Factors Reducing the possibility of COVID Flight

Boeing, Airbus and Embraer’s joint study suggests that airplanes’ airflow systems reduce COVID’s flight risk. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, the barrier formed by the back of the seat, and the regular air exchange rate are factors contributing to this.


Furthermore, the routine wearing of masks or face covers when onboard planes are considered another factor in managing the disease’s spread.

IATA’s research aligns with a recent report in the Journal of Travel Medicine by Freedman and Wilder-Smith, which supports the hypothesis that wearing masks decreases the risk of airplane COVID transmission.

In June, IATA suggested that passengers wear masks, a step that has now become mandatory on most airlines since the publication of the International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO) Takeoff Guidance.

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As Likely as Being Struck by Lightning

“During the COVID-19 crisis, ICAO’s detailed guidance for secure air travel is focused on many layers of security, including airports as well as aircraft. Mask-wearing is one of the most noticeable,’ Dr. Powell said.

But the various steps taken by the aviation industry to keep flying safe include controlled queuing, contactless sorting, decreased movement in the cabin and streamlined onboard services. And this is in addition to the fact that airflow systems are built to prevent the spread of high airflow and air exchange diseases and the highly efficient filtration of any recycled air.

Research conducted by the IATA study found that 86% of travelers assumed that steps implemented to avoid the spread of COVID-19 on aircraft were healthy for them.

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA, said, “There is no single silver-bullet measure that will allow us to live and travel safely in the COVID-19 age.” But the possibility of contracting the virus on board appears to be in the same category as being hit by lightning, with only 44 published cases of possible inflight COVID-19 transmission among 1.2 billion travelers.

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Is it possible to catch COVID on a long haul flight?

However, many individuals are still concerned about the risk of COVID flights, especially on long-haul flights.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 11,000 travelers were potentially exposed to coronavirus in the United States on flights. Reports highlighting the spread of the virus on two long-haul flights have also been released. However, both were based in March before the recommendation of wearing masks.

According to de Juniac, the introduction of’ systematic COVID-19 checking of all travelers before departure’ is the way to address current concerns. This will give policymakers the courage to open their borders without complex threats that continuously alter travel rules.

The UK plans to incorporate Heathrow testing upon arrival is on hold as the government’s current travel task force considers potential ways to shorten the 14-day quarantine period upon arrival, including pre-departure testing.

Testing all passengers would give individuals back their right to fly confidently. And that’s going to bring millions of people back to work,’ de Juniac says.

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