A new research by IATA shows only 44 cases of COVID-19 transmission on-board, out of a total of 1.2 billion flyers in the year 2020. By Tanvi Jain


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by SkyDelay (@skydelay.eu) on

A recent study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that out of the 1.2 billion flyers who have travelled since the start of 2020, only 44 cases of flight related transmission of coronavirus have been reported.  

“The risk of a passenger contracting COVID-19 while onboard appears very low. With only 44 identified potential cases of flight-related transmission among 1.2 billion travelers, that’s one case for every 27 million travellers. We recognise that this may be an underestimate but even if 90 per cent of the cases were un-reported, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travelers. We think these figures are extremely reassuring. Furthermore, the vast majority of published cases occurred before the wearing of face coverings inflight became widespread,” IATA quoted its Medical Advisor, Dr David Powell, in a release. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Romantic Adventures in Africa (@thetravelcafecapetown) on

The data was compiled based on results of the separate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research conducted by manufacturers, Airbus, Boeing and Embraer, in their aircraft. While methodologies differed slightly, each detailed simulation confirmed that aircraft airflow systems do control the movement of particles in the cabin, limiting the spread of viruses,” the release further said. 

IATA’s revelations further support another study that was conducted recently by the US Department of Defence and United Airlines, which also claims low risk of exposure to the virus in flights. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cecilia Barr (@helloworld_travel_oakleigh) on

As per a report by Reuters, the study that was conducted on Boeing 777 and 767 showed that wearing a mask minimised exposure to infection even if someone sitting in the neighbouring seat coughed. It added that while masks allow only 0.003 per cent of infectious air particles within the breathing space, factors such as, fast air circulation, downward air ventilation and the filtration systems on the aircraft, quickly filter 99.99 per cent of particles, out of the cabin within just six minutes. Further adding that, in order to contract the infection, a person must travel with another infectious person for 54 hours on a plane.  

Related: Why Flights Are Safer Than Workplaces When It Comes To COVID-19 Transmission, According To IATA