Coronavirus flights: Pilot shares how easily disease can spread on planes in shock warning

Coronavirus flights: A pilot has now spoken up about the risks of air travel and disease spreading (Image: Getty Images)

Flights for many Britons are synonymous with jetting off on a well-earned holiday. However, travel has taken on a more sinister role in recent months following the spread of the deadly coronavirus. International globe-trotting is undeniably behind the pandemic.

Air travel could be spreading this deadly disease Dubai coronavirus: UK government issues new travel warning for UAE

READ MORE Hotel secrets: What hotels are most likely to give out upgrades?

So far there have been 1,203,485 confirmed cases of coronavirus in total and 64,784 deaths.

A pilot has now spoken up about the risks of air travel and how easily disease can spread in a plane.

American pilot, Patrick Smith, detailed the worrying warning on his website Ask The Pilot.

Smith dubbed aircraft “incubators of disease” – but that’s not even the most worrying thing about modern aviation.

READ MORE: Flights: Airline staff reveal disgusting passenger behaviours

Coronavirus flights: International globe-trotting is undeniably behind the pandemic (Image: Getty Images)

“Air travel is, if nothing else, an exquisitely efficient vector for the spread of pathogens,” wrote Smith.

“Not because planes themselves are incubators of disease, but because of how quickly they move vast numbers of people around the globe.

Smith spoke of his own experiences in the article.

“Once after arriving in the United States on a flight from Africa, I noticed a lone mosquito in the cockpit,” he said.

DON’T MISSGoogle Maps: Street View captures illegal driving move [PHOTO]Coronavirus: Cruise ships ‘not a source’ for virus insists cruise boss [INSIGHT]Travel: Expert reveals passenger rights if holiday is disrupted [EXPERT] Flight secrets: What happens if a pilot falls ill during a flight? Flights: The BEST place to sit on plane to avoid nasty consequence

“How easy it would be, I thought, for that tiny stowaway to escape into the terminal and bite somebody.

“Imagine an unsuspecting airport worker or passenger who has never before left the country, and suddenly he’s in the throes of some exotic tropical sickness.

“Actually, it’s been happening for years. Cases of ‘airport malaria’ have been documented in Europe, resulting in several deaths after faulty or delayed diagnosis.

“It’s just a matter of time before this happens in America, if it hasn’t already.”

Coronavirus flights: “Air travel is an exquisitely efficient vector for the spread of pathogens” (Image: Getty Images)

READ MORE Flights: Will masks be mandatory for plane journeys after coronavirus?

Smith concludes by pointing out “how ruthlessly jetliners can, potentially, push contagions from one corner of the globe to the other” –  and that in fact, we’ve actually been lucky so far, given the relatively low death rate of coronavirus.

For those worried about catching something nasty when flying, there are ways you can protect yourself.

One way is to clean your plane seat and the surrounding area.

“Coronavirus is actually easy to kill”, Kelly A. Reynolds, a professor and environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona, told The Points Guy.

“Studies have shown that disinfecting wipes and hand sanitisers can kill bacteria and viruses that are much more difficult to kill than coronavirus”.

Trending Coronavirus flights: There are steps to take to protect yourself at this time (Image: Express)

The tray table should be the first area at your plane seat that you should focus on.

A study by last year showed a tray table had 11.595 germ colony-forming units (CFUs), making it the second dirtiest commonly used area of the plane after the flush button on the toilet seat.

It’s also worth wiping down the armrests and seatback displays if there are any.

“Before your travel, organise an inflight bag of essentials to ensure you can remain clean whilst on the flight,” Parvinder Sagoo, Pharmacist and Clinical Advisor at Vaxxy Travel told

“Things like anti-bac hand wipes, spray, hand sanitiser, facial wipes, anti-bacterial hand cream and face cream and any other items that will keep your immediate area safe.”