Japan's ANA leads way as masks become new normal in virus-era air travel

Japan Times -- May 26
One of Japan’s major airlines plans to make the wearing of face masks compulsory as the industry shifts toward operating in a new coronavirus pandemic normal.

From June, All Nippon Airways Co. will require all passengers to wear face masks inside airports and aboard aircraft.

Anyone who refuses will be barred from boarding, meaning ANA is going a step further than an aviation industry body guideline that advises a “request” be made that passengers mask up.

Cabin crew will wear face masks and ground staff will wear face shields as well, it said. Major airlines, including ANA, have also installed plastic curtains at check-in counters.

The aviation industry has been hit hard by the virus pandemic, and many airlines are keen to attract business by eliminating passenger concern about infection, even if it means enforcing stricter measures than recommended.

Japan Airlines Co. and Skymark Airlines Inc. said they will refrain from allocating passengers into adjacent seats to allow some measure of social distancing to be maintained. JAL said the measure is temporary and is aimed at easing people’s concern about coming into close contact with fellow passengers.

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