A sandwich on board, plus a cold beer: For many travelers, this is part of the vacation. But that could soon be over: there is a discussion about whether meals are still possible – if everyone wears a mask.

If flight passengers in the cabin will have to wear all masks in the future, catering will be difficult. Whether and how drinks and meals can then be served is currently the subject of intense discussion, said the Director General of the Federation of Airlines (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac, in Geneva on Wednesday.

“Solutions are being discussed, for example that nothing will be served,” said de Juniac. This is difficult on longer flights. It is considered that only pre-packaged meals should be served in order to reduce the risk of contagion when serving food.

Lufthansa wants to inform customers about possible changes

The Lufthansa Group, as the largest German airline, did not want to comment on such considerations on t-online.de request. “We will inform our customers about a possible changed service at an early stage,” said a spokeswoman t-online.de.

Lufthansa wants to start up its flights again in June, more than 100 flight destinations are planned: also to Crete or Mallorca. Lufthansa has been obliged to wear mouth-nose protection since the beginning of May – initially until the end of August.

The umbrella organization IATA is now pressing for a quick agreement on security concepts in order to be able to restart flight operations. Solutions should be on the table by the end of the month, said de Junaic. Among other things, the association advocates a mask requirement on board, health forms and fever tests.

Air traffic will recover more slowly than the economy

The general manager criticized measures such as those in Great Britain, where arriving passengers are to be quarantined for 14 days. “It is not possible to return to international travel under such conditions.”

Air traffic is recovering more slowly than the economy as a whole, the association estimates. After the severe economic downturn this year, economists predicted a return to the level of the economy before the coronavirus crisis in 2021. In passenger aviation, this should take longer, said IATA chief economist Brian Pearce.

He assumes that the passenger kilometers (RPK) will still be ten percent below the level expected in the previous forecast before the Corona crisis in 2025. One of the reasons for this is that passengers are initially more likely to travel in the domestic market and travel shorter distances, said Pearce.


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