- Did you know recycled air is being used
on some long-haul flights to save fuel costs?
- The emergence of the bird flu virus in
Hong Kong has fuelled worries that germs could rapidly spread to Britain
on passenger aircraft. Poor air conditions on flights have contributed
to the fears.
- Airline passengers are reporting increases
in fainting fits on airlines due to the lack of carbon dioxide and coldsare
spread more easily through people coughing and spluttering into the confined
- The European Joint Aviation Authority
is now planning to introduce strict new controls on air conditioning in
cabins amid fears that passengers are being exposed to dangerous germs.
- These will add to the existing measures,
which require airlines to provide a fresh supply of air six times every
- A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority
said: "Controls are already tight. Airlines are required by law to
provide no less than 50% fresh air at any one time.
- "Cabin air is also changed up to
seven times an hour and aircraft cabins are safer than any other form of
transport," he added.
- However, a British Airways pilot claimed
that recycled air was being used on long-haul flights in an effort to save
fuel costs, resulting in "the wholesale transmission of germs."
- "Flu viruses, to which we have little
or no resistance, are out of China into Hong Kong one day and in Britain
the next," he said.
- The pilot, who has not been named, claimed
that recycled air is sometimes being breathed in by more than 300 people
for up to 15 hours on long haul flights to cut down on costs.
- He added: "The problem is that air
packs need a lot of fuel to run. There is enormous pressure on pilots to
run the minimum of air conditioning."