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Touch-and-go for Irish aviation with turbulence now on the flightpath

Social-distancing problems could mean radical measures like blood tests at airports and a difficult future for the industry, writes Fearghal O'Connor

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Senior aviation executives told the Sunday Independent that the only economically feasible solution is for airport authorities to take on the burden of ensuring passengers are not carrying Covid-19 onto planes

Senior aviation executives told the Sunday Independent that the only economically feasible solution is for airport authorities to take on the burden of ensuring passengers are not carrying Covid-19 onto planes

Senior aviation executives told the Sunday Independent that the only economically feasible solution is for airport authorities to take on the burden of ensuring passengers are not carrying Covid-19 onto planes

In aviation these days you can go from hero to zero in just one tweet. Aer Lingus crew were feted by the nation on The Late Late Show for quickly establishing a route to China to collect badly-needed personal protective equipment.

Then, last week, one photo tweeted by a passenger on a packed Aer Lingus flight landed the airline in a storm of criticism over social distancing. The controversy underscored the massive problem Aer Lingus - and all of its competitors - face in getting back to something that resembles normal.

"Many of us would love to have a 95pc load factor," one aviation executive commented wryly when asked about the criticism Aer Lingus had faced. "At least it showed there is still an appetite to fly."