Qantas said today that they plan to lure travelers back with fares as low as $12.50 instead of providing social distancing as part of its new safety protocols.
CEO Alan Joyce announced the $19 ($12.50 USD) flights between Melbourne and Sydney to get back to “40 to 50 percent of pre-COVID-19 operation” by July. “We have to offer really cheap airfares to get people to overcome their reluctance around COVID-19.”
Qantas will implement “Fly Well” safety measures as of June 12th that include contactless check-in, sanitizer wipes, extra cleaning and masks handed (but not required to be worn) to every traveler. Social distancing is not part of the plan and middle seats will be sold as the airline says keeping them empty is not needed. Qantas shares that blocking is not needed because the pressurized cabin and medical-grade filters keeps travelers safe. The CEO even said that since passengers face the same direction with “a barrier of a seat in front of them” there is “a very low risk of transmission.”
We don’t know of a single person-to-person transmission on an aircraft. With the cabin, with the measures we’re introducing – the masks, the sanitizers for people to wipe down, the extra cleaning we’re doing ourselves, hand sanitizers all the way through the terminals – we’re very comfortable you don’t need social distancing on an aircraft.
Joyce said that 98% of Qantas Frequent Flyer members said they could not wait to get back in the air.
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