PLANE passengers could face a four-hour wait to get airborne, a reduced schedule and prices hiked up in a post-lockdown world.
Air travel could become more of a luxury as airlines sticking to distancing rules may need to pull up the fares to cover the cost of less travellers.
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People could be forced to have pre-flight health check ups to ensure they are fighting fit before going abroad.
These extreme measures could be in place for the next five years, experts warned, as the world reels with the effect of the deadly pandemic.
Whizz Air is due to start commercial flights again on Friday – one of the first to do so – meaning others will surely follow suit soon.
Anyone travelling onboard one of their planes must wear a face covering and will be kept distanced from others as they fly.
Social distancing rules could mean airlines can only fill 20 per cent of their flights.
But because it is only when a plane is 80 per cent full that airlines recoup their costs, airfares could be significantly raised.
Air travel has been an industry extremely hard hit by the pandemic as the majority of planes have been grounded.
SOCIAL DISTANCING IN THE SKIES
British Airways this week revealed it is feared 12,000 workers may have to be made redundant, as the airline struggles to keep afloat.
And Virgin Atlantic has asked the Government for a £500million bailout.
Andrew Charlton, managing director of Aviation Advocacy told The Times: “Even if it starts raining vaccines tonight, we are still looking at two years at least to get back to levels seen before the outbreak.
“And it is probably going to be more like five years.
“There will be fewer flights, fewer seats available, prices will go up and there will be very uncomfortable conditions because of the demand to wear personal protective equipment and maintain social distancing.”
It comes as:
It comes as new figures revealed the true UK coronavirus death toll now stands at 26,097.
This is a rise of 4,419 on Tuesday’s tally – with figures now combined to include deaths in hospitals, care homes and the wider community for the first time since the crisis began.
It was confirmed today that some kids could face long delays before they are back in the classroom full time – as schools will return in a “phased way”.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said this morning that no date has been set for when schools are back up and running fully.
And he confirmed that schools, which have been shut since March 18, will not open through the summer to help kids catch up on the classes they have lost in the crisis.
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Brits itching to get out of lockdown saw the highest level of vehicles on the road on Monday since the lockdown began.
Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle described the increase in traffic this week as “slightly worrying” on Wednesday afternoon.
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