FLYING SAFELY IN CORONA TIMESBy sebcreativos | 5 de February de 2021 |
While the coronas pandemic is still going on, more and more people are already boarding planes with peace of mind. Some are going on holiday and others want to go to Spain to view a future home. How can you fly safely in Corona time?
Most nationalities may fly within Europe, if necessary. Do you need to visit and buy your Spanish property? Therefore, it is wise to discuss your trip with your travel agent first.
What is your goal to finally fly again?
If you want to travel and visit Spain to rent a holiday home or buy a property on one of the Costa’s then you will need a “Non-covid declaration” for your air travel via a PCR test. It is quite possible to travel to Spain by plane but what prevents many people from doing so are the tests that are required and certainly the test back home. In addition, they do not know where to apply for the test and there is also a language barrier. We can help you find the right supplier so that you are completely unburdened.
But how big is the risk of infection? And how is the supply of oxygen on board an aircraft arranged? What is certain is that the quality of air in an aeroplane is much better than in a train or a bus, for example. This is thanks to a very advanced ventilation system.
But which air do you breathe? How does that air get to you and in what condition? How is the exhaled air removed, and how infectious is it?
What kind of air do you breathe when flying?
In principle, the oxygen comes from the cold outside air. In most aeroplanes this is heated by the engines. Just before the combustion process, it is led away through a pipe. And then used for other purposes, including: filling the pressurised cabin with fresh air for the passengers and crew. This space is therefore supplied with clean fresh air 20 – 30 times an hour (which is much more often than in buses and coaches).
Half of this oxygen is discharged per ventilation cycle through a hole at the back of the cabin. But the other half passes through a special “Hepa filter” (high-efficiency particulate air) and is blown back into the cabin. This Hepa filter removes 99.00 per cent of particles and organic matter, including microbes, from the recirculated air.
How does the air get into the cabin?
In many aircraft, the top of the cabin, above the baggage compartments, has a row of vents along its entire length. Air flows in through these. At the bottom, usually at foot level, there are vents through which the air leaves the cabin again. In addition, most aircraft have vents above the heads of the passengers. You know, the ones you can open and close yourself.
The air is usually filtered per zone of a number of rows in the aircraft. In these, the air goes through the filtering process fifteen to thirty times an hour, with 50% air from outside and 50% recycled and filtered air. Moreover, in most aircraft there are at least two separate systems, with multiple fall-back options.
How big is the risk of contamination?
Obviously, this depends on many factors, such as the number of infected people in an aircraft and especially how far away you are from them.
Aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing emphasised earlier that the coronavirus has very little chance in their aircraft. This is due to the strong Hepa filter and continuous exchange of dry air. Several studies have shown that personal ventilation, above the head, can be effective as a ‘cocoon’. Why? Because it blows the air downwards as fast as possible towards the exit of the ventilation system.
In any case, ventilation is a good way of getting coughs or sneezed-out droplets of moisture out of a room as quickly as possible. As you know by now, the coronavirus certainly spreads through these larger droplets.
Very small droplets (so-called aerosols) that are released during coughing or talking can remain in the air of a poorly ventilated room for up to ten minutes. However, it has not been established that these droplets play a significant role in the spread of the coronavirus. And aircraft are, provided the ventilation system is active, (very) well ventilated. So, opening the ventilation grills above your head further offers extra protection.
Will you be sitting right next to someone?
KLM aims for maximum distance” between passengers. Wearing a mouth mask on board is compulsory with this airline, and a temperature check can be carried out on passengers beforehand, for example. A (non-medical) mouth mask is also mandatory at Transavia and many other airlines.
Nevertheless, there is still a chance that you will be seated next to another person on a crowded flight. In that case, a mouth mask and especially an advanced ventilation system are required to (greatly) reduce the chance of contamination.
To prevent this, groups of people are escorted into or out of the aircraft. So, standing up en masse when the plane comes to a halt after landing is strictly forbidden!
Can I touch everything in the aircraft?
The RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) states that the chance of becoming ill through touching or grasping surfaces is small. But it adds that it is still important not to touch your face too much and to wash your hands regularly.
Mr van Dissel and Mr Wallinga, experts at the RIVM, also say that infecting an entire aircraft “has never occurred and the risk of infection is extremely small”.
Washing hands properly is always best, but for the plane your own disinfectant hand gel can be a reasonable alternative. Airlines ask passengers to stay in their seats as much as possible. The aircraft are fully disinfected during the cleaning process.
Your safe viewing
Naturally, we take your and our safety into account during your visit(s). Therefore, we take all necessary precautions to prevent further contamination of the Coronavirus. This way you are able to make a perfect choice of your own holiday home in Spain.
Travel advice Spain
The infection rate of the coronavirus in Spain differs per province and location. You can judge the exact information per day via a registered government website of your departure country.
P.s. And if you have a problem with your flight, you can have your flight checked for free with “Flight Claim Service”. Of course, you will need your flight number and your travel documents. Flight Claim Service will check whether you are entitled to compensation.