Luxair dropping masks on many flights, but not all
Passengers aboard national airline Luxair can choose from Monday whether to wear face masks during their journeys between Luxembourg and any other destination that has dropped the protective measure against Covid-19.
The state-owned airline said on Friday it was taking the step, long sought by CEO Gilles Feith as a way to attract reluctant customers, after the European Aviation Safety Agency this week relaxed its guidance for mask wearing.
The EASA and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said though they recognised that "a face mask is still one of the best protections against the transmission of COVID-19" a growing number of European countries had scrapped mask requirements given the worst of the pandemic seems over.
The easing of the restrictions is raising optimism among airline executives in Europe and North America as bookings for the busy summer travel season surge.
EASA and Luxair noted that not all European governments have dropped mask mandates. This means that no masks will be required starting Monday when travelling to Luxembourg or Berlin, but coverings will still be needed when flying to Hamburg or Munich and Spain, Italy or Portugal.
Since Luxair returned to the air after a three-month 2020 shutdown early in the pandemic, it has said that air filtration systems aboard its aircraft are highly efficient in eliminate the coronavirus. But studies by scientists from China to Great Britain have found that face masks significantly reduce the spread of the virus in the tight quarters inside aircraft.