SWITZERLAND, JULY 02 – As the airports resume domestic flights, people with common sicknesses such as cold and malaria may not be allowed to board planes due to new measures by some airlines to protect passengers from the coronavirus
During a programme on Channels TV on Thursday, Ado Sanusi, the chief executive officer of Aero Contractors, advised intending passengers who have a cold or malaria not to come to the airport.
Sanusi said passengers who are seen sneezing on the aeroplane will be isolated and treated as potential COVID-19 patients.
“I will like to point out that if you have malaria or a common cold, do not come to the airport because there is a high possibility that you are going to be denied boarding,” he said.
“This is the new normal that we are going to see.
“The main thing for the airlines is to make sure that the aeroplanes are safe and that is what we’re doing and that’s why we still believe that air transportation is the safest way to travel.
“So if we see anybody sneezing, we will take him as an index passenger, we are not going to he/she has allergies. We are going to take the person as index passenger till we have handed them over to port health officials. They will be the ones to determine if he is allergic or has COVID-19.”
Sanusi said the airline has made arrangements to isolate suspected cases to ensure the safety of all passengers.
Speaking further, he said passengers who present a doctor’s report stating that they have malaria will not be allowed to board the aeroplane.
“My airline will not allow a passenger that comes with a doctor’s report saying he has malaria I would rather that he comes with a COVID-19 test result that he is free which is only valid for four days,” he said.
“If you have malaria, please sit at home and when you get better, you can travel.”
Addressing speculations that middle seats would be left empty, Sanusi said the airline would only take a decision based on data-driven and backed by science.
“If we have data that shows that if we block the centre seats, it will reduce the rate of transmission then we will do that and increase the flight costs because somebody must pay for the centre seats.,” he explained.
The airline boss also said the airline would no longer serve in-flight meals as passengers would have to remove their face masks to eat such.
“There won’t be serving of food because that will increase the number of times you will be contacting passengers and then the passengers would be removing their face masks to eat the food so I think it is not the best,” he explained.
“It is a one hour flight. It is only in Nigeria that we serve food for a one-hour flight. Go anywhere in the world and you will see that hot meals are not served on one-hour flights.”
Hadi Sirika, the minister for aviation, announced on Wednesday that domestic flight operations will resume at the Lagos and Abuja airports on July 8.