Passengers are in closer contact during the boarding process than they are during the flight itself.
This is because fliers are moving around the cabin more as they queue in the aisles, try to find their seat and seek to store their hand luggage.
The same applies to disembarkation as everyone stands to collect their belongings and queues to exit.
During the flight is relatively safer due to the highly effective ventilation systems in place on planes.
David Nabarro, a World Health Organisation (WHO) special envoy for Covid-19, explained that aircraft travel is in fact “relatively safe” thanks to the powerful ventilation.
“The one good thing about aeroplanes is that the ventilation system includes really powerful filters which means that in our view they are relatively safer,” he told BBC News.
Despite what many people may think, the same air is not recycled and pumped through the aircraft throughout the flight.
The modern system sees 50 percent fresh air and 50 percent filtered, recirculated air delivered to a plane cabin.
This means the air on a plane is completely replaced every two to three minutes, compared to every 10-12 minutes in an air-conditioned building, the BBC reported.
In fact, planes’ filters are comparable to those used to keep the air clean in hospital operating rooms and industrial clean rooms.
“Hepa (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are effective at capturing greater than 99.9 per cent of the airborne microbes in the filtered air,” the International Air Transport Association (IATA) states.
“Air supply is essentially sterile and particle-free.”
“It is generally accepted right now that when the plane is in flight and the ventilation system is up and running, it does a really good job of clearing the air of infectious particles,” disease transmission expert Dr Mark Gendreau told the Journal.
Passengers are still encouraged to social distance as much as they can and wear face masks.
Washing hands – or using hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available – remains the best way to fight coronavirus.