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What are Canadian airlines doing to prevent COVID-19 from spreading on their planes?

Last Updated Jun 4, 2020 at 10:11 am PDT

FILE - Economy class seating in the new WestJet 787 Dreamliner airplane is shown in Calgary on February 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Major airlines have new protocols in place to keep passengers safe

Masks, spacing, temperature checks and more: Your next flight will come with new rules

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Dip asked: “How [are] Canadian [airlines] dealing with social distancing in the aircraft? My son wants to come home From Toronto to Vancouver and I am [concerned].”


Major airlines based in Canada, like their counterparts around the world, have significantly reduced their flight schedules, including suspending many international routes, during the pandemic.

While the federal government is advising against all non-essential travel, many domestic routes are still flying domestically, with new protocols in place meant to keep passengers and crews safe.

Air Canada, WestJet, Flair, Swoop and others have all introduced similar COVID-19 practices, including:

  • Increasing space between passengers, either by moving seats or rearranging seating patterns
  • Requiring passengers and staff wear masks during boarding and during the flight
  • Requiring all passengers take a no-contact temperature check before boarding
  • Increasing frequency and thoroughness of plane cleanings, including using hospital-grade disinfectant
  • Providing hand sanitizer and wipes


Both WestJet and Air Canada say they have reduced the amount of food and beverages they serve on flights to minimize the amount of contact between passengers and flight attendants.

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