40% passenger load not sustainable for airlines – Expert

Ahead of resumption of flights by June 21, social distancing on board aircraft may not be realistic, President of Aviation Roundtable (ART), Dr. Gbenga Olowo, has observed.

He said no airline would break even by carrying 40 per cent of passengers in an aircraft.

Olowo also tasked the airport authority and other stakeholders at the airports in the country to dismantle multiple checkpoints.

Daily Trust reports that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday gave a nod for the reopening of airports on June 21, exactly three months after shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Aviation regulatory authority, the NCAA, had already issued guidelines to airlines on safe resumption of flights operations.

Speaking on the development yesterday, Olowo said the planned resumption in three weeks’ time was not bad as “it is expected that all states should open and indeed all countries should open simultaneously because aviation connects economies.”

He noted that “while we continue to battle with the virus, our economic life line must not be destroyed. The two are directly related. Just as disease can kill, hunger can also kill and even kill faster.”

The aviation expert however observed that onboard social distancing might not be realistic.

He said: “On board social distancing will be quite challenging except aircraft will be configured to all first class seats for economic operations.

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