Leaving the middle seat empty will not increase airfares

1002
April 19, 2020
Safest low-cost
Photo: easyJet.

Reports that airfares will soar because many airlines will leave the dreaded middle seat empty are wrong.

Airlines have correctly accessed that air travel will be slow to recover with flights only 60 per cent full and thus leaving the middle seat free is easy.

The move is all about encouraging passengers back in the air and once the pandemic is over the seating will return to normal.

READ: How soon can we fly and what will it be like.

In fact, many airlines will be offering deeply discounted airfares to get passengers back in the air and couples and families would have no issue with spacing.

EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren told media that the aim is to give passengers peace of mind.

“I think that is something that the customers would like to see,” Mr Lundgren said.

“I’m talking about this as an initial phase. Nobody knows for how long that phase will be,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Lundgren added that “then we will work out with the authorities and listen to the customers’ views and points on what they believe is the right thing to do, particularly in the start-up period.”

After the initial phase seating will return to the normal 3-3 configuration and airfares will continue to decline.