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Hadi Sirika: Physical distancing almost impossible on flights
As Nigerian plans to resume domestic flight operations in Lagos and Abuja, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has said it is almost impossible to achieve physical distancing on flights without hurting the revenue of airlines.
Speaking during a webinar attended by stakeholders in the aviation sector, which focused on the status of the industry restart, Sirika, in response to a question from the Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, who wondered if social distancing would affect the prices of airfares said total social distancing was impossible to attain in the airplanes.
“The person sitting beside or behind you is not two meters away from you. When people say they would block one seat between passengers, what Of the guy behind you and the one in front of you? The guy in front of you is in danger, should you sneeze or cough, you are actually coughing over his head.
“ It is very difficult to achieve because it means you have to take a sit on my left, right in front, and behind to achieve at least 0.5 meters.”
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While noting that in achieving social distancing on flights, airlines would have to stick with 40 percent of their carrying capacity, Sirika suggested research more between the day and over the weekend to come up with something that can be announced soon.
ASdmtting that physical distancing within the airplane can’t be achieved and make money, the minister challenged the stakeholders to come up with some ingenious ways of achieving safety within the cabin rather than physical distancing.