New curved seats could help with social distancing on planes

It’s safe to say that travel will look a little different in the months, or years, to follow.

With cramped economy seats and hundreds of people packed together in one contained space, planes, in particular, are going to need significant changes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But it seems designers have already been hard at work, coming up with a solution to make air travel safer.

Planes could soon be fitted with curved seat dividers, to help people keep their distance in the air.

Essentially, the design involves the middle seat being turned into a curved seat, which acts as a barrier between the aisle and window spots.

The new curved seat, called Interspace Lite, has been made by aerospace manufacturer Safran and transportation technology company Universal Movement.

It’s worth pointing out that the curved seat isn’t see-through, so passengers will be unable to look at the person sat next to them.

Production for the new seats is expected to start this summer.

Luke Miles, the founder of Universal Movement, said in a statement: ‘With the travel industry severely affected by the spread of coronavirus, we have also sought to provide a solution … that could allow airlines to get back on their feet much sooner than if standard aircraft seating were to remain the same.’

Although, critics have pointed out that the new seat doesn’t solve the problem of recycled air.

The World Health Organisation website explains that most modern aircrafts have recirculation systems, which recycle up to 50% of cabin air.

Due to the fact that coronavirus spread through the air, this could be a serious problem if someone on a flight has symptoms – as the infected air will move through the cabin.

While new measures are needed, several airlines are doing their best to protect both staff and customers in the meantime.

Delta Air Lines has committed to reducing capacity to 60%, while United Airlines has said it will notify passengers if their flight is going to be full and offer alternative options, such as rebooking.

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