For How Long Will Face Masks Remain to be Required on Planes?

Face masks could remain mandatory on flights for years and will be one of the last restrictions to be dropped worldwide, experts predicted last night.

It will be ‘nigh-on impossible’ for individual airlines to allow passengers to travel without face coverings because of a mish-mash of international rules.

‘Until there is a harmonised lifting of mask mandates on flights by governments worldwide it is simpler for airlines to keep the rules in place,’ a senior aviation source told The Times.

UK airlines are reported to be waiting to ‘act as one’ when easing measures and are seeking ‘international consistency’.

Neil Sorahan, Ryanair’s chief financial officer, told the newspaper that masks would be ‘with us for a while longer to come’ and were a ‘small price to pay’.

He compared them to emergency measures introduced in 2006 to restrict passengers taking liquids in hand luggage after police foiled a terror plot.

An airline source added to the paper: ‘A bit like supermarkets, we’ll almost certainly keep the same policy until it is safe to move.

‘For example, the rules in the US are very clear on masks.

‘It would be ridiculous of us to ask passengers to put them on when we enter their airspace.’

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