The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) research has indicated that the risk of passengers contracting Covid-19 inflight appeared to be very low. 

The agency revealed that 44 Covid-19 cases were reported since the beginning of this year. The confirmed, probable and potential cases are believed to be related to a flight journey.  

During the period, approximately 1.2 billion passengers have travelled. 

IATA medical advisor Dr David Powell said: “The risk of a passenger contracting Covid-19 while onboard appears very low.  

With only 44 identified potential cases of flight-related transmission among 1.2 billion travellers, that’s one case for every 27 million travellers.  

“We recognise that this may be an underestimate but even if 90% of the cases were unreported, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travellers. We think these figures are extremely reassuring.   

Furthermore, the vast majority of published cases occurred before the wearing of face coverings inflight became widespread.”  

The insight has been drawn from the joint report from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations conducted separately by aircraft manufacturers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer in each of their aircraft cabins. 

The makers used CFD and other tools and models to study how droplets or particles from coughing and breathing move within the aircraft cabin. 

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said“The detailed computational fluid dynamics research of the aircraft manufacturers demonstrates that combining the aircraft’s existing design features with mask-wearing creates a low-risk environment for Covid-19 transmission. 

Recently, IATA said that the airline industry is set to suffer a loss of $77bn in the second half of 2020 as air travel shows a slow recovery rate even after operations resumed amid the pandemic.