The International Air Transport Association is proposing a set of measures including the mandatory use of facemasks, a ban on lining up for onboard washrooms and an end to physical distancing — all aimed at relaunching the global air travel industry. The association’s roadmap to restarting commercial flights — which have dropped off by more than 90 per cent among major Canadian airlines — argues that seats provide a barrier to viral transmission and that air filtration systems are equivalent to those at hospital operating theatres. Air Canada and WestJet Airlines — both of which the association counts among its members — say their pandemic policies block the sale of adjacent seats in economy class or throughout the entire plane. IATA estimates that revenues generated by airlines in the Canadian market will fall by 14.6-billion dollars or 43 per cent this year as travel remains at a virtual standstill amid border shutdowns and plummeting demand.
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