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Aer Lingus review after packed flight complaint

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Sean Mallon

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Most seats had been occupied on the Belfast-Heathrow flight, regardless of authorities steering folks ought to keep two metres aside

Aer Lingus has mentioned it’s reviewing procedures on its Belfast to London flights following a declare it was not observing social-distancing measures.

Passenger Sean Mallon took photographs on a flight to Heathrow on Monday, displaying most passengers sitting shut collectively.

Virtually each seat was occupied and there was “no social distancing whatsoever,” mentioned Mr Mallon.

Aer Lingus mentioned security was its “top priority” and any crucial modifications could be applied urgently.

The coronavirus disaster has seen all flights suspended, aside from two London companies working from Belfast Metropolis and Metropolis of Derry airports.

‘95% of seats taken’

Mr Mallon, who was travelling to England for work, mentioned airline employees didn’t supply any steering on social distancing earlier than or throughout Monday morning’s flight, and passengers had been allowed to take their seats as regular.

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Media captionThe UK authorities is advising us to remain two metres aside – however what does that appear like?

“I would say there was about 95% of the seats taken on the flight,” he informed the BBC’s Night Further programme.

Passengers had queued up and boarded the aircraft in the identical manner as they might have carried out earlier than the pandemic, he mentioned.

“The queues were down the steps and out on to the tarmac as they were before all this happened,” he added.

Passengers weren’t supplied hand sanitiser or informed of any additional security measures as they boarded the aircraft, mentioned Mr Mallon.

The one recommendation they got was a reminder to scrub their arms after touchdown.

In an announcement, the airline mentioned: “In light of the unexpectedly high loads on the Belfast – London Heathrow service this morning and the level of demand for the route, Aer Lingus is reviewing its processes and procedures applicable to the operation of this service.

“The security and safety of Aer Lingus’ prospects and crew is our high precedence and any course of modifications which are recognized as being required shall be applied as a matter of urgency.”

Cabin social distancing ‘impossible’

The only other route operating from Northern Ireland is Logan Air’s service between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted.

In different developments on Monday:

  • The leaders of Northern Eire’s 4 most important Christian Church buildings say now is not the right time for a return to collective worship
  • Economic system Minister Diane Dodds requires extra “national support” for the upper schooling sector
  • One in all Northern Eire’s largest home builders, Hagan Houses, resumes work on eight of its websites
  • Diminished hot-desking and options to social distancing the place it’s not attainable, are among measures being considered to let workplaces reopen.

Each benefited from a authorities package deal worth £5.7m to support remaining NI flights throughout the pandemic.

Loganair’s chief govt, Jonathan Hinkles, mentioned conversations had been persevering with about methods to transfer on after lockdown, however that social distancing on board was unattainable, resulting from:

  • The financial price
  • The air-con techniques on plane that recycle air within the cabin, which Mr Hinkles mentioned defeated the aim of social distancing

As a substitute, Loganair has mentioned it might present passengers with masks – one thing different airways must take into consideration.

The European Fee is making ready to unveil a algorithm for the protected reopening of air journey when the lockdown ends.

Measures being thought-about embody obligatory face masks, disinfection of planes and social distancing necessities in planes and airports.


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