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Michael O'Leary, CEO of RYANAIR, criticizes the proposed measures for social distancing on the plane
We live in unique times for the modern age. COVID-19 managed to put the whole human species to the test. In just 4 months, about 3 million people were reported to be infected with the new coronavirus, of which about 200 died.
The governments of the world have taken unprecedented action. They closed borders, suspended flights, blocked travel, imposed movement restrictions on citizens. And all this in the hope of limiting the spread of the virus.
Among the affected industries we have aviation and tourism. Millions of flights canceled, routes suspended and more than 17 planes detained on the ground. Airlines are struggling to survive in these difficult times.
Michael O'Leary criticizes the social distance measures on the plane
There are hopes that from May 2020 some flights will resume, at least in Europe and including Romania (TAROM, Wizz Air, Blue Air, RYANAIR). But the WHO and the EU recommend the application of social distance rules at the airport and on the plane. And one of those measures would be to keep the vacancy in the middle. Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft have a 3-3 configuration, which means that for social distance the number of passengers on board should be reduced by one third.
In these circumstances, several airline executives criticize this measure. And the most radical is Michael O'Leary, CEO of RYANAIR. He said he refused to implement the rule.
In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this month, Michael O'Leary was firm on the issue, saying: "either the Irish government pays for the middle seat, or we will not fly".
"We can't make money on 66% load factors. The middle seat does not influence any social distance, so it is an idiotic idea that does not achieve anything. " also stated CEO RYANAIR.
Michael O'Leary also warned that the adoption of social distance measures on board aircraft would increase the price of airline tickets. He said that by reducing transport capacity, airlines will continue to struggle to offer cheap fares, especially in the post-COVID-19 period, but it will be impossible to make a profit.
RYANAIR is the 5th largest airline in the world in terms of the number of passengers transported in a year. And currently operates 1% (20 flights) of the total number of daily flights, about 2500.
And we end this article with a question: Do you think that the free space in the middle helps the social distance in the plane?