Politics

New seats offered for social distancing on planes

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It’s a question raised by the head of the aviation industry’s peak body, Alexandre de Juniac from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who suggested that airlines having to leave some seats empty on flights would mean the end of cheap air travel, Report informs, citing foreign media.

It’s a question raised by the head of the aviation industry’s peak body, Alexandre de Juniac from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who suggested that airlines having to leave some seats empty on flights would mean the end of cheap air travel.

Italian company Aviointeriors has come up with the “Janus” seat, named after the two-faced Roman god.

The design sees the middle seat facing backwards, separated from the aisle and window seats by a “shield” that “prevents the breath propagation to occupants of adjacent seats.”

The shield is also on the outside of the aisle seat, offering additional protection from passengers and crew who are walking past. The shield could be transparent or opaque.

The design would be made of materials that can be easily cleaned and kept hygienic, according to Aviointeriors.

Some airlines already offer a similar seat layout in business class, with every second seat facing backwards. This can be off-putting for passengers, so Aviointeriors has also created a more basic design called “Glasssafe”, which would entail simply installing the shields on existing seats to create a barrier between passengers.

Glasssafe would create “an isolated volume around the passenger in order to avoid or minimise contacts and interactions via air between passenger and passenger, so as to reduce the probability of contamination by viruses or other.”

Of course, both of these designs would face a long approval process before they could be installed on an aircraft. The shields could potentially cause issues with evacuation procedures by creating obstacles for passengers attempting to get out of their seats in an emergency (this is the reason why your tray table needs to be put away and your seat upright during take-off and landing).

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