American carriers announce new safety measures


US carriers JetBlue Airways and United Airlines have announced fresh safety measures aimed at restoring confidence in travel, as several executives pointed to signs of domestic demand improving.

A Reuters report said that American states are starting to reopen and airlines expect an increase in domestic travel over the extended holiday weekend for Memorial Day on May 25.

While data shows only a small fraction of recent flights were more than 70% full, there may soon be full or near-full planes, said Airlines for America, a trade group representing major U.S. airlines.

The group launched a public awareness campaign called “Fly Healthy. Fly Smart” to reassure travellers on the industry’s safety measures after a number of social media photos depicted packed flights.

Major airlines have mandated face coverings for travellers and are taking a layered approach to safety.

JetBlue will continue blocking seats on its aircraft through at least July 6, check crew members’ temperatures and step up aircraft cleaning with electrostatic aircraft fogging in June, Reuters reported.

United will roll out Clorox Co’s electrostatic sprayers and disinfecting wipes at its Chicago and Denver hub airports, followed by other locations. It will set up touchless kiosks and implement temperature checks for staff as well, the report said.

Airlines have urged a standard set of safety rules across the industry, which is bleeding cash as the coronavirus crisis has decimated air travel demand.