The images taken by passengers aboard flight B3838 from Madrid to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday were posted on social media and soon went viral causing public outcry.
Passengers were shown wearing masks on the flight which was almost full with only a few middle seats vacant.
“Where is the safe distancing Iberia? Asked Efrén Hernández in a tweet alongside a video of passengers complaining. “The plane is almost completely full and there is not even an empty seat separating passengers. This is a disgrace.”
Dónde está la distancia de seguridad @Iberia? Va el avión casi completamente lleno y no hay ni siquiera un asiento de separación entre pasajeros. Esto es una VERGÜENZA. @el_pais @eldiarioes @elmundoes pic.twitter.com/HnOJDluCkh
— Efrén Hernández (@efren_hr) May 10, 2020
In one video it is possible to hear an announcement before take off stating that safety measures are being met, and offering those who did not feel comfortable to get off the plane.
Un avión de 'Iberia Express' procedente de Madrid aterrizó en Gran Canaria, prácticamente, lleno de pasajeros.
Ellos mismos han distribuido las imágenes. Aseguran que en el avión era imposible mantener la distancia mínima.
Será uno de los temas del TeleNoticias2#RTVCNoticias pic.twitter.com/qgLVh4gPJz
— RTVC (@RTVCes) May 10, 2020
Iberia Express responded to one tweet after being contacted by a deluge of disgruntled passengers “Hello, we are sorry to read your message,” read the response. “However we want to assure you that we comply with all the rules of security in place by the authorities. “
Hola, lamentamos leer tu mensaje. No obstante queremos asegurarte que cumplimos con todas las normas de seguridad marcadas por las autoridades. Hemos reforzado la limpieza y desinfección diaria de la cabina y todos sus elementos y nuestra flota cuenta con /1
— Iberia Express (@iberiaexpress) May 10, 2020
“We have augmented the daily cleaning and disinfection of the cabin and all its parts and our fleet has an air system and HEPA filters that are 99.9% effective against viruses and bacteria. We are at your disposal for any questions,” the responder on the official airline account added.
But Canary Island politicians called for an immediate review with the regional Minister for Transport, Sebastián Franquis expressing “enormous concern over these breaches” of safety regulations.
The Canary Islands archipelago advances to Phase 1 of the “plan for a transition to the new normal” while the Madrid region remains in Phase 0 for at least another week.
However, flights between the islands and the mainlain are still operating but the frequency has been greatly reduced.
Since Spain was put on lockdown on March 14th only those who have a valid reason – such as work or returning to primary residence – are permitted to travel between regions.
- Lifting lockdown: These are the provinces in Spain advancing to Phase 1
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