AER LINGUS have confirmed they will be conducting an internal review after photographs emerged of an extremely busy morning flight from Belfast to London.
The photographs, taken yesterday on a flight from Belfast City Airport to London's Heathrow Airport, shows a packed flight with no social distancing measures in place.
BBC journalist Kelly Bonner shared the photographs on social media where they quickly went viral, with many criticising the airline for not keeping the passengers or staff safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This was the @AerLingus flight from @BELFASTCITY_AIR to @londonheathrow this morning at 8:45. No social distancing taking place - one passenger told me they weren’t given any advice on how to keep themselves safe. More on @BBCevex next @taramillstv @NewsDeclan pic.twitter.com/eeAfcGf23O
— Kelly Bonner (@KellyBonner) May 4, 2020
Passenger Sean Mallon, who took the original photographs, appeared on BBC Radio Ulster and said there was "no social distancing whatsoever", estimating that "there was about 95% of the sets taken on the flight".
Both Ireland and the United Kingdom have implemented lockdown measures in order to slow the spread of the virus, however both have stopped short of closing the borders for travel, in part due to the need for importing and exporting PPE gear.
Aer Lingus have released a statement confirming they will be conducting a review into the "unexpectedly high" passenger volume and assured the public that safety is their top priority.
The statement reads:
"In light of the unexpectedly high loads on the Belfast-London Heathrow service this morning and the level of demand for the route, Aer Lingus is reviewing its processes and procedures applicable to the operation of this service.
"The safety and security of Aer Lingus's customers and crew is our top priority and any process changes that are identified as being required will be implemented as a matter of urgency."