How safe is air travel during coronavirus pandemic?

As airlines rush to return their fleets to the skies, the industry is battling to restore confidence among travellers that flying in an enclosed aircraft with hundreds of people is not as risky as it may seem.

Over the past month, the aviation industry — from carriers, to aircraft manufacturers, to airports — has stepped up its campaign to address safety concerns about the spread of coronavirus as it looks to recover from the worst crisis in its 100-year history.

“All the data we can look at tells us that aeroplanes are less of a risk than any equivalent public place [such as] bus, train, restaurant or a workplace,” said Dr David Powell, medical adviser at Iata, the airline global trade body.

But he admits the sector faces a “widespread perception that airliners are a dangerous place”.