Taking a casual look to see if there are any cheap flights for this summer, one grasps immediately that there are no flights whatsoever available for most destinations within Europe.
You realize at that point that traveling by air will not be the same during the Covid-19 pandemic, at least for the foreseeable future — or maybe ever again.
Airline companies are already looking for ways to keep safe distances between passengers when their regular air routes resume — especially in their incredibly crowded economy class cabins, where passengers already have very little space to themselves.
Avioniteriors, the Italian airplane interior designers — the creators of the standing airplane seat — have come up with two safety concepts to aid the social distancing campaign in the skies.
The firm has designed two new seating arrangements for economy class cabins, using all the space available and maximizing the number of seats while still attempting to keep safe distances between passengers.
Their new “Janus” seats are rows of three seats, with the seat in the middle facing the opposite direction. The Janus seat has two faces and is made of “hygienization” materials which are easy to clean.
With the middle passenger facing the opposite direction, the people sitting on the aisle and window seats have a safe distance between them, while at the same time they keep some distance from the middle-seat passenger, whose face — and breath — is pointed in the opposite direction.
It is not clear, however, if the Janus seat can be placed in the emergency exit area, due to safety regulations, in case the aircraft needs to be evacuated.
The second Aviointeriors proposal to protect passengers from the coronavirus is something they call “Glassafe.” This is comprised of a transparent partition between each seat to prevent “breath propagation” between those in adjacent seats. This particular transparent partition can be fitted onto most standard airplane seats.
However, this particular concept is not strictly in compliance with current social distancing guidelines, which require a distance of approximately six feet or two meters from others wherever possible.
This may, of course, be simply unfeasible in the world of air travel, where passengers increasingly feel like sardines in a can as personal space in economy class dwindles to the absolute minimum.
According to the company, the transparent partitions shield he passenger by creating an isolated safe space around them, reducing the probability of contamination.
Aviointeriors says that the Janus seat and Glassafe partitions can be produced in eight to eleven months, if airline companies decide to use them.