Four Dutch airlines https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/nederland/artikel/5295060/mondkapjes-vliegtuig-klm-tui-transavia-corendon-corona-regelsplan to go against government policy by making their aircraft face mask free zones despite a national mask mandate remaining in force for airports and airlines.
From next Wednesday, the Dutch government will remove the requirement for passengers on all forms of public transport to wear a face mask – except in airports and on planes. A wider face mask rule for shops, restaurants and other public settings was removed several weeks ago.
The airlines believe the targeting of aviation is unfair and unjustified and the companies will no longer enforce the rules from March 23 when the wider public transit mandate is lifted.
“We find it disappointing that the use of face masks during boarding and during the entire flight is still being considered by the Dutch government, while this has been abandoned everywhere in the Netherlands,” a spokesperson for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines said.
The national flag carrier is joined by Transavia, Corendon and the Dutch subsidiary of TUI Airways.
“The sector finds this approach inappropriate, given the phase the pandemic is in,” the KLM spokesperson continued.
“It is also at odds with European and international developments that we monitor closely. Because the explainability and proportionality continue to decline, we see an increase in misunderstanding among our passengers.”
In recent weeks, the British side of TUI Airways has removed its face mask mandate along with Jet2. That was made possible by the British government abandoning face mask rules for the public.
British Airways had planned to ditch masks on most flights on Wednesday but the carrier had a last-minute change of heart after fearing regulators would ban BA flights from their countries. No such action has been taken against Jet2 or TUI Airways.
KLM and the three other Dutch carriers would still enforce face mask rules where required on flights to the United States and India but would not actively police the policy on most other flights.
The airlines pointed out that most modern aircraft are fitted with hospital-grade HEPA filters that clean the air within the passenger cabin every 10 to 15 minutes inflight.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.