VIDEO: Packed flight from Madrid to Canary Islands sparks outcry

VIDEO: Packed flight from Madrid to Canary Islands sparks outcry
File photo: AFP
Images showing a crowded Iberia Express flight between Madrid and Gran Canaria on Sunday have sparked calls for airlines to review their procedures to conform to social distancing.

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.”

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.

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. “

“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.

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  1. Actually safe distancing is a suitable principle in appropriate situations and not in others.

    In the street and other open spaces the safe distancing principle should be applied because it easily can.

    On public transport and other enclosed spaces it is not practical to do it. You cannot provide an economic service like that.

    It is enough to provide one seat empty between two occupied seats.

    The important thing is to use masks or visors to prevent transfer of infected fluids from one person to another to their nose and mouth areas. Also stops infected aerosols.

    Frequent handwashing requirement is not possible on an aircraft. Therefore passengers should use disposal gloves.

    Temperature checks and hand sensitisation should be mandatory at boarding gate.

    That’s enough to cut the risk of infection down by 95 per cent.

    In our panic over Covid19 we have lost all common sense and a sense of proportion.

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