Low Risk of Contracting Covid-19 on Airplanes

Low Risk of Contracting Covid-19 on Airplanes

Low Risk of Contracting Covid-19 on Airplanes

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Image credit: Ross Parmly


Insight Vacations knows that you might be wary of booking or going on a trip at the moment when the first step of your trip might be a long-haul flight and you’re asking yourself if it is safe. Well, we’ve got some good news to share with you. Not only is there promising news of effective Covid-19 vaccines in the pipeline there has been extensive research on the risk of contracting Covid-19 on airplanes and it is low!

Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have released a paper on their ongoing study of strategies and practices to reduce the public health risks of flying during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their robust research demonstrates that airflow and HEPA filters in aircraft make your risk of contracting the virus whilst traveling less than that of a grocery store or indoor restaurant. In fact Because of the frequent exchange of air and HEPA filters on planes, over 99% of the particles containing the virus are removed from cabin air.

They’ve also shown that other measures taken by airports and airlines such as:

  • Universal wearing of facemasks by passengers and crew throughout the journey
  • Distancing protocols and provision of strong ventilation during boarding and deplaning
  • Disinfection of high-touch aircraft surfaces to remove contamination
  • Passenger attestations that they do not have COVID-19 related symptoms and commitment to adhere to airline mask policy have decreased the risk to a near negligible level.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA ) Medical Advisor, Dr. David Powell says “The risk of a passenger contracting COVID-19 while onboard appears very low. With only 44 identified potential cases of flight-related transmission among 1.2 billion travelers, that’s one case for every 27 million travelers. We recognize that this may be an underestimate but even if 90% of the cases were un-reported, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travelers. We think these figures are extremely reassuring.  Furthermore, the vast majority of published cases occurred before the wearing of face coverings inflight became widespread,”.  Read more here.

Why is sitting next to someone on a plane low risk?

It’s unlikely an infected passenger will even get to sit next to you. Government health screening and departure biosafety measures minimize this Virus-carrying droplets are unlikely to reach you:

  • Cabin air flows downwards and is fully renewed with fresh air every 2-3 minutes
  • Personal overhead ventilation can strengthen airflow downward
  • All passengers face forwards, not at each other
  • Masks are a proven and effective barrier

We are buoyed by these results and hope they have reignited your wanderlust. We believe that travel brings people together and that #wemaketravelmatter is more important than ever after the upheaval of the pandemic.

Safety is Always the Top Priority

At Insight Vacations we’ve always had your health and well-being as a priority.

Air within the coach is completely filtered and changed on average every 2 to 3 minutes, faster than most hospital operating theatres, which is mandated at 3 to 4 minutes. Our air filtration system is designed to create an efficient vertical and safe airflow that helps ensure impurities, like Covid aerosols, are not spread.

Now more than ever traveling with the confidence that all hygiene protocols are strictly adhered to so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your tour is crucial. That is why we’ve introduced our NEW Well-Being Director on every trip in 2021. They will ensure social distancing, delivery of enhanced hygiene protocols and liaise with all suppliers and partners on your trip so you can focus on enjoying your trip, safe in the knowledge that we’ve thought of every detail on your behalf.