EasyJet to keep middle seats empty, but it could cost passengers extra
London - EasyJet expects to keep its middle seats empty once travel restrictions are lifted – although the move could push up prices for passengers.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said the social distancing measures would encourage passengers to fly again.
Airline bosses fear it could take up to two years for air travel to return to pre-coronavirus levels as countries keep their borders closed.
The move by EasyJet would see its single-aisle jets cut from around 180 seats to 120. Lundgren said: "I expect that to happen. That is something that we will do because I think that is something that the customers would like to see.
"We’re also looking at various disinfection programmes on the aircraft. I think it’s important that customers understand that we are taking this very seriously and first and foremost our concern is about the customers’ well-being and our people’s well-being.
"That is what’s going to take priority in this whole thing, because that is the way you get the confidence back with people taking flights again."
The budget airline revealed it expects to report a loss of up to £380-million in the first half of the financial year after grounding its entire fleet because of the pandemic.
Just this week Emirates announced that it would be the first to conduct on-site rapid coronavirus-19 tests for passengers. The airline’s check-in and boarding formalities have also been adapted with social distancing in mind. These include protective barriers installed at each check-in desk, gloves, masks and hand sanitisers.Daily Mail