How safe is it to fly in the age of Covid-19? The question has been the subject of debate for almost two years. The airline industry has argued that the risk to passengers is very low; independent researchers have tended to say that it’s not high, while stipulating that it’s impossible to assess with real accuracy. Whatever the odds of getting infected by the coronavirus on a plane, they’ve grown worse with the spread of the omicron variant.
It’s impossible to know. In October, a group of researchers published a paper in the Journal of Travel Medicine in which they tallied 64 cases of in-flight transmission documented in studies published roughly during 2020. But any count of known cases will reflect the difficulty establishing the spread of a virus on a plane.