A video has been released of a packed plane full of passengers sitting shoulder to shoulder on a flight to a Canary Island, leading some to argue with the crew over the apparent lack of social distance.
Furious passengers on the Iberia IB3838 flight bound for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from Madrid, Spain complained about the airline’s safety regulations in which a man got up to argue with a flight attendant.
Efren Hernandez filmed the moment the heated argument broke out on May 10. The passenger wearing a face cover is seen and asks why the airline operated the flight at “near full capacity”.
The images do not show empty seats or rows between passengers in the Airbus A320 aircraft.
Efren wrote on Twitter: “Where is the safety distance for Iberia? The plane is almost completely full and there is not even an intermediate passenger seat. This is a pity.”
The Spanish Ministry of Health has issued rules saying that flights between the Canary and Balearic islands should only operate at a 50% capacity, but said nothing about the limits for flights to and from the peninsula, according to the official news agency of the local media.
The Department of Transportation has since opened an investigation and asked the airline for details and measures taken to prevent contamination, El Pais said.
Iberia Express, owned by national airline Iberia, released a message Monday that the company is following safety guidelines and that they have an action plan against coronavirus that guarantees passenger safety.
In response to one of the passengers on Twitter, the company wrote: “Hello, we are sorry to read your message. However, we would like to ensure that we comply with all safety regulations.
“We have strengthened the daily cleaning and disinfection of the cabin and all its elements and our fleet has an air system and HEPA filters that are 99.9% effective against viruses and bacteria.”
The vigilante sued Iberia Express for alleged violation of the rules of the alert decision, after establishing that the aircraft was flying with an occupancy exceeding 70% of its capacity with no social distance between passengers.
Sebastián Franquis, Minister of Public Works and Transport of the Canary government, has intervened to ask airlines to comply with safety distance rules.
He also stressed that the situation “made him very concerned about these infringements”.