While the recommencement of regular air flight is still awaited, one of the mitigation measures appeared to be the compulsory wearing of face masks on board an aircraft, in a similar manner to public transport. Air Malta said it is currently operating a few flights to Rome, Frankfurt and London, it has already announced that as from Monday, all passengers and crew will have to wear face masks.
Meanwhile, Easyjet has joined other airlines id reducing its work force. Cyprus has announced that it will offer to refund expenses to those tourists that were affected by COVID-19 while holidaying in the country.
The wearing of a mask on aircraft seems set to become a new norm. Air Malta is currently operating a few repatriation flights but from Monday all on board will be obliged to wear masks before boarding and keep them worn until arrival at their destination.
Air Malta said the mask may only be removed to consume food or drinks but a concession will be made for those having a condition of difficulty in breathing and children aged under six years old. Air Malta CEO, Captain Clifford Chetcuti said that on board air is filtered using the same as that deployed by hospitals.
A number of major airlines such as Emirates, Ryanair and Swiss Airlines also announced mitigation measures on their flights including a radical change in the uniforms of crews.
At this stage it is not yet known when flights to and from Malta will resume. However, it is expected this will be soon with Ryanair already accepting bookings for Malta flights up to the coming July.
Despite indications that European airports will reopen for summer, airlines are not optimistic that flight will reach previous figures. Easyjet has announced it will lay off 30% of its staff while British Airways and Ryanair have also announced layoffs.