Aviation News

Lufthansa to ban use of Cloth Masks onboard

Lufthansa yesterday revealed that it will be banning use of Cloth or ‘everyday’ Masks inflight.

Photo: Reuters

Flying with airlines is typically seen as relatively safe given that most of them have mandatory mask policies and hospital-grade HEPA filters onboard. However, governments and airlines have become increasingly alarmed by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is once again bringing European skies to a standstill.

No more cloth masks

Lufthansa yesterday revealed that starting 1st February,2021, it would be making its mask policy tougher. The airline will no longer permit the use of cloth or ‘everyday’ masks. From that date, passengers will be required to wear either a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask or mask with the KN95/N95 standard during boarding, the flight and when leaving the aircraft.

According to Lufthansa, the measures will apply to all Lufthansa group flights to and from Germany. It comes after the German government adopted rules to make such masks mandatory in shops and public transport.

To enable passengers to adapt to the new rules in good time, they will be informed by e-mail and on the airlines’ websites and social media channels.

Ultimately, these rules are implemented on a state level. In Hessen, the state with Lufthansa’s home Frankfurt Airport, such masks will be required from Saturday, 23rd January,2021. Meanwhile, with the airline’s Munich hub, Bavaria has already been requiring such masks since Monday, 18th January,2021.

Lufthansa continues to allow those with a valid medical exemption to avoid wearing a mask. They must carry a certificate provided by Lufthansa and signed by their doctor, in addition to a negative COVID-19 test younger than 48 hours.

The group ended by reassuring passengers that:

“In principle, infection on board is very unlikely. All Lufthansa Group aircraft are equipped with the highest quality air filters, which ensure air quality similar to that in an operating theatre. In addition, the air circulates vertically instead of being dispersed throughout the cabin.”

Austrian airlines goes even further

Austrian Airlines, a member of the Lufthansa Group, appears to have gone even further than its parent airline. The airline is changing its mask policy from 25th January,2021, until at least 3rd February,2021. The airline’s policy will only allow FFP2 masks, meaning that surgical masks will be unwelcome, unlike Lufthansa.

“I am convinced that the FFP2 mask will quickly become the new travel companion.”

commented Jens Ritter, COO, Austrian Airlines.

What do you think of Lufthansa’s new mask policy? Let us know in the comments section below.

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