Of course, airlines will still have the same number of seats on the planes, but they will not occupy them all due to social separation. “If this is required by civil aviation authorities and health institutions, one seat in each row will be emptied,” said IATA head Alexandre de Juniac, adding that these changes will affect short flights.
For example, there will be only 126 people on a Ryanair aircraft, which usually holds 189 passengers, if all the middle seats remain empty. “This is a very rapid change in the business model of those companies that operate short flights,” added de Juniac.
If airlines actually have to cut the number of passengers on one flight by one third, this will of course be reflected in ticket prices, which could increase by up to 50 percent. However, the actual price increase will depend on supply and demand. US carrier Alaska Airlines has already begun to reduce capacity. In larger airplanes, the middle seats remain empty, in smaller machines the seats at the aisle remain. “If you are dissatisfied with the distance that separates you from the rest, we will rebound you for another flight or offer a refund,” the airline added.