Despite adjustments to various procedures while on board an aircraft, social distancing is not always possible. Therefore, in order to increase the protection of passengers and crew from the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, beginning Monday, May 4, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are requiring that all passengers wear a facial mouth/nose covering for use while on board their flights. Furthermore, it is recommended that passengers wear this protective covering throughout their entire journey, for example, at the airport before and after the flight, and whenever the required minimum distance cannot be guaranteed without restriction. All Lufthansa Group flight attendants in direct contact with customers will also be required to wear a corresponding mask.
Under these new guidelines, passengers are asked to bring their own facial mouth/nose covering. A reusable fabric mask is recommended, but all other types of coverings, such as disposable masks or scarves, are also sound alternatives. Lufthansa Group will inform passengers of these requirements, in advance of any flight, by SMS or e-mail. The new regulation will also be posted online, on the respective websites.
This newly introduced requirement is in line with many European countries’ official guidelines and regulations, whereby facial coverings are now mandatory in public.
The obligation to wear the mask while on board will preliminarily apply until August 31, 2020.
Furthermore, and as a result of this new regulation, the middle seat that has thus far been left vacant in Economy and Premium Economy Class, will no longer remain a necessity, as the facial covering provides the necessary protection. Yet, currently, due to a decrease in flight demand, seats will be allocated as far apart as possible throughout the cabin.
In principle, infection on board an aircraft remains very unlikely. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, no concrete cases of transmission on Lufthansa Group flights have occurred. In fact, it must be stressed that all Lufthansa Group aircraft are equipped with the highest quality air filters, which guarantee air quality similar to that in a clinical operating room. The recirculated air is filtered, removing contaminants such as dust, bacteria and viruses. This process affects approximately 40 percent – the rest is added as fresh air from outside the aircraft. Due to these highly specialized filters, the cabin air is cleaner than the air people breathe on earth. Furthermore, the aircraft airflow occurs from top to bottom. There is no horizontal airflow from side to side or along the length of the aircraft. Therefore, the airflow on board corresponds to the laminar airflow (air moving at the same speed and in the same direction with no or minimal crossover of air streams) of an operating room.