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Russian Airline Aeroflot Creates Special Seating Zones for Anti-Maskers Onboard Flights

Russian Airline Aeroflot Creates Special Seating Zones for Anti-Maskers Onboard Flights

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot will create special seating zones onboard its flights for passengers who refuse to comply with mandatory face mask rules a spokesperson for the airline confirmed on Tuesday. Anti-maskers will be asked to move from their assigned seat and must move to the last two rows on the right-hand side of the Economy Class cabin the Interfax news agency reported.

While Aeroflot reserves the right to offload passengers who don’t comply with face mask requirements, a spokesperson said the new seating zones was being created to deal with situations once the aircraft door had been shut and the plane had already departed.

“It is critical for us in the current situation to ensure the safety of all passengers. Therefore, for passengers who refused to use a mask after the doors are closed, allocated seats are provided,” Aeroflot spokesperson Yulia Spivakova explained.

“This is a global practice, and, of course, a forced measure. Its application does not exclude the use of other measures. responsibility for violation of the rules for the use of personal protective equipment on board,” she continued.

Many airlines have battled with how to deal with anti-maskers once a flight is in the air. Most carriers agree that a face mask refusenik won’t result in a plane being diverted because the cost and disruption involved in doing so would be too great.

While some U.S. airlines have attempted to tackle the problem by banning passengers who refuse to wear a face mask (Delta Air Lines is said to have added over 700 anti-maskers to its no-fly list), that doesn’t solve the immediate problem of passengers potentially infecting their seatmate with COVID-19.

Aeroflot requires all passengers – whether they claim to have a medical exemption or not – to wear a face mask during the entire flight except for during meals. Masks must be replaced with a new one every three hours or after eating.

The airline said it would still reserve the right to pursue other sanctions against passengers who don’t comply with the face mask rules, which may include a flight ban.

Despite initial scepticism of the danger posed by COVID-19 in Russia, the country recently reimposed a nationwide face mask rules are cases began to spike again. According to data from John Hopkins University, the country has reported more than 2.7 million COVID-19 infections and nearly 48,000 deaths from the virus.

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