EX-YU airlines face new measures upon service resumption


The national carriers in the former Yugoslavia, which are suffering from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic along with the rest of the industry, will have to enforce social distancing measures on aircraft once more widespread air travel resumes, which will likely include leaving the middle seat on aircraft empty. Currently, both Air Serbia and Montenegro Airlines are only operating repatriation flights, while Croatia Airlines maintains a daily service to Frankfurt. The European Commission will next month present a set of rules for the safe reopening of air travel, including social distancing in airports and planes. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general, said this is likely to include a requirement to leave the middle seat vacant on flights.

Airlines have already raised concerns that measures to slow the spread of the pandemic could blight profitability long after travel restrictions end. However, blocking middle seats could also help to head off a potential price war as airlines try to recoup market share as they emerge from the crisis. Wizz Air, which boasts bases in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, has already confirmed it will block its middle seat on aircraft. “We would basically be blocking a third of the airplanes, so a 180-seater would become a 120-seater, and the 230-seater would become more like a 160-seater”, Wizz Air’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said.

easyJet has also come out in support of the measure, saying it plans to keep the middle seat on its planes empty to allow for social distancing. CEO Johan Lundgren said he hoped the seating measure would encourage more people to fly. However, Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary, warned the low cost airline would not return to flying if governments insist planes leave their middle seats empty when travel restrictions are lifted following the coronavirus pandemic. “We can’t make money on 66% load factors. Even if you do that, the middle seat doesn’t deliver any social distancing, so it’s kind of an idiotic idea that doesn’t achieve anything anyway”, he said.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Corona is transmitted through air and a plane is basically a pressurized tube. If one person onboard is infected by the time the plane lands everyone will be as well. Social distancing in these instances does not work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      oh dear calm down

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:06

      This is not true at all. This is supported by the fact that there were instances where people had the virus on a plane and no one else got sick. Air in the plane is purified. The bigger chance of contracting a virus on the plane is from touching toilet door knobs and tray tables.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:47

      Whatever is credible, flying will become risky. (шта сте летели, летели ... )

      Delete
    4. Just look at the repatriation flight MAD-LJU : 2 pax were confirmed positive and non of the rest from the same flight...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:16

      True. And just before traffic stopped a passenger tested positive on a packed Turkish Airlines flight to LJU and no one was infected.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:57

      Are you sure everyone was tested? Slovenia lacked tests for a long time. They probably did it for those who looked suspicious.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous15:21

      It is a different thing if you sit in the vicinity of an infected person for 1 hour or 10 on a long haul flight. That increases infection risk exponentially.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous17:07

      Anon 13:57
      Pax were all sent to 14 day hotel quarantine and tested

      Delete
    9. Apart from being flying experts, now everyone is suddenly a health/virology expert too. It's better you stick to flying guys and leave the health advice to doctors.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    I have to say I completely agree with O’Leary. This stupid measure will do nothing more but make airlines bleed more money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      +1

      Delete
    2. Tightly squeezed people, be it on a plane or on a bus, is a recipe for disaster. A 2-meter distance is a proven measure. It doesn't 100% prevent the transmission of the virus but it reduces it significantly. An empty middle seat gives less than 1 meter which is far from ideal but much better than nothing. If a person occupying the window seat is infected and the middle seat, the one occupying the aisle seat will have good chance to avoid contracting the virus. But if another big guy gets in the middle then there is a strong chance that all three would end up infected - especially in sardine cans known as 'low cost' passenger cabins. Wearing a mask should also be mandatory for all passengers. Airlines should be obliged to provide one mask and a pair of gloves at check-in.

      Almost forgot: an awarded virologist and a graduated epidemiologist Michael O'Leary can go to hell together with his airline.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:19

      Yet no one blocked seats on repatriation flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:24

      How are airlines going to purchase masks for each passenger? Here in Spain you can barely masks in the pharmacy and can buy 3 at most. When they do appear they are sold out within an hour.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:48

      knowing that a measure does not prevent it from being made an official requirement: look at all the stupid meassures that are impemented here where all officials know that they will not help anything (desinfecting streets, desinfection tunnels, total curfews for >=65/<=18 people)

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    I don’t think it will be a major issue for ex-Yu airlines. I doubt the planes will be very full so it’s not an issue to block the middle seat.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    as if any exyu airlines flew with a LF bigger then 2/3

    but i see an issue for the lcc

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    I would be really interested to know how many passengers Croatia Airlines has on these Frankfurt flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Something tells me social distancing isn’t a major issue on these flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      Friend was on one of those and she said they were about 15. OU probably doesn't care since the state is covering the losses.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:13

      Well to be honest, that's more than I was expecting. Do they use the Q400 on these flights?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:15

      I think they use A319, maybe because of cargo?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:22

      They are using a mixture of all aircraft Q400, A319 and A320. To me it seems they wan't to keep all their planes active and get some flying time since various registrations are being used on these FRA flight (not just one plane)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:31

      That's interesting. Is it economical to have more or less your entire fleet active with just one flight a week?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:07

      Yes it is, because you cannot just stop using an aircraft. JU is doing the same. Here's a nice video explaining the nitty-gritty of storing an aircraft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnpUNEWP1i8

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:20

      Interesting. Thanks

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:11

    Travel will certainly change as we know it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:15

    Don’t understand how Wizz and Easy are all for it but Ryanair isn’t.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      theory: Wizz and Easy are on break-even with planes two/thirds-full. ryanair isnt

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:20

      Well FR is the most successful among them, they know what they are doing. Wizz Air is even getting a bailout from the UK government. lol

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      And that after they criticized everyone for asking for state aid.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:50

      Hypocrisy to say the least.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:51

      Well Wizz CEO also said they wouldn't fire anyone and that jobs are safe and then a week later they fired a 1000 people.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:35

      They are still selling tickets in the middle seat too, if you go and book a ticket.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:30

      Varadi will not stick to his own words unless governments will make him to. He will happily sell tickets for the middle seats as well to avoid bankruptcy of Wizz. His bluff of "everything will be back to normal by May" was a huge failure. Getting a government loan after bashing airlines asking for bailout is outright disgusting. He is merely trying to speak up the stock price of Wizz, quite unsuccessfully...

      Delete
    8. At that time he did not know that you can take money from government (taxpayers) and still give shareholders their dividends....than he discovered that BMW, VW and many many others did right that (while employees were laid off and on social incomes too) and he was pleasantly surprised! What an opportunity, who would miss it...

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:15

    This is bad news for airlines. No prospect of any recovery in the short term.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How does someone try to sell a helicopter using the wrong image?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      ?

      Delete
    2. The ad I was seeing, Selling the the new AH-1Z Cobra but they were using the image of a Puma. Maybe others are seeing a different ad. Never mind.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:25

    And in the future, the crew will looks like the one on the picture.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:35

    So what happens if an airline uses a turbo prop and those have no middle seats? Anyway, there should be a time when we go back to normal. It's impossible just to remain locked forever.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:37

      Then the seat next to you is supposed to be left empty. I agree with you though. This can't go on forever.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:46

    If this really materializes, then at least with the LH Group we would be flying in business class for the price of an economy ticket- because that is what they sell as business class on continental routes: an economy seat with a free middle seat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      The only issue is that this will drive up prices for tickets.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:19

      Why LH group? Almost every continental network airline on the world does it this way.

      Delete
  13. That blocking the middle seat measure is ridiculous. Okay lets accept that theory, what about the person that seats in front of you or behind you in the window seat or in the aisle seat, the distance is about 80 centimeters, or the distance between those persons that seats lets say at seats 5C and 5D, also the width of the corridor is about 80 centimeters. So it's time to be serious and the airlines must suggest another solution or don't fly at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The corridor is less than 50cm.

      I am a wheelchair user, having a 53cm wide wheelchair, that is too wide for the corridor.

      So, the distance between people across a row is less than 1 meter.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:22

    What they are trying to achieve (social distancing) won’t work unless they block off the seats directly behind and in front of each occupied seat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:35

      If they did that then they might as well not fly at all.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:44

      whoever coined the term "social distancing" is a moron. I distance myself physically and yet I am not distancing myself socially since I am in regular contact with friends, colleagues & family. So, it is physical distancing and not "social distancing"

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:35

    I can't believe I'll say this, but MOL is right. It's a stupid idea. After four months, we still no nothing concrete about the virus (immunity, true mortality,...). So we either implement eternal quarantine (and destroy numerous businesses along the way) or we get back to our normal (more or less) lives. Airlines won't survive by having load factors less than 67%.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:43

    people are going to have to accept that we are all going to have to live with covid for a long time… this social distancing crap is so useless. In theory it makes sense, but the application just doesn’t work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:17

      The distancing is actually by far the best and as a matter of fact ONLY really useful measure against this and also any other virus. But all other measures are pretty much useless and should stop asap.

      Delete
  17. The only solution would be to install business/first class seats with dividers in between each seat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:07

      actually not a bad idea, at least some tick curtain or plastic that can be replaced after each flight can be installed between each 3 rows of the seats

      Delete
  18. Anonymous13:04

    there will be a new tax 1.00 EUR tax implemented to cover the cost of the masks that will be provided to the passengers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:13

      I'd rather expect something like 5 EUR per leg so airlines can earn 4.5 EUR out of that. They will mark it as a corona tax for masks, disinfection goods and for additional cleaning, bla bla.
      Same as every carrier does when using the YQ tax which of course is not a tax at all but a 100% non refundable income for the airline which should be banned but governments and air industry organizations couldn't care less.

      Delete
  19. here are the new chairs

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-what-air-travel-could-look-like-in-a-post-coronavirus-world-2020-04-21

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:05

      Oh my goodness. R they insane? Who would want to sit on that middle seat, maybe at 75% discount or more I would start thinking about it, but only maybe...

      Delete
  20. Anonymous15:03

    I do not understand one major thing.

    Why is this all specific to airplanes and why are there no EU regulations for busses, trains, trams, people from different households riding together in the same car??? At least I can't find anything about those other means of transport on google or other media.

    Why does again air travel and tourism need to be punished and not other forms of travel?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:18

      Obviously these measures will apply to other forms of public transport like rail and busses. If you want to find out more, subscribe to the forums/blogs that are devoted to those industries. Aviation provides it's own unique set of challenges due to the specific features of the passenger journey through an airport - namely check-in, security, boarding, the airplane itself and lastly baggage hall. The general consensus is that airports will be able to operate to (at most) 50% of it's pre-Covid capacity until a vaccine is developed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:38

      Busses? Guys, your English is amazing, haha! One bus, two buses!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:27

      Them businesses cannot be compared to AVIATION, which is a billion euro industry. It's the same like comparing Ikarbus or Eurolines to Jat or germanwings.
      The aviation industry MUST be saved and protected! End of story.

      Delete
  21. Maybe we need to bring back filtering the air like they did when we had smoking on flight. I have read a bunch of articles in the past saying the air on aircraft was much 'cleaner' back when smoking was aloud.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous16:05

    Well air travel will become expensive, only the airlines backed by governments will be able to fly, low cost airlines will be in serious trouble, some might fold. Bad news for the traveling public

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous18:42

    The corridor seats should be blocked, not only the middle seats. Corridor John Does are vectors to everyone who passes through the corridor. People on window seats wearing masks are the only option.

    ReplyDelete

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