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I held my breath on crammed shuttle bus after easyJet flight, says worried NI man


Conor MacMahon’s pictures show a packed shuttle bus

Conor MacMahon’s pictures show a packed shuttle bus

Passengers on the easyJet flight to Manchester

Passengers on the easyJet flight to Manchester

Conor MacMahon’s pictures show a packed shuttle bus

Low-cost airline easyJet has come under fire after pictures emerged showing what appeared to be a lack of social distancing on a Belfast-Manchester flight.

Northern Ireland man Conor MacMahon (22) shared the images after being shocked by what he saw on his flight last Friday from Belfast International airport.

"The flight was packed with no attention to social distancing, especially on the bus from the plane at Manchester Airport to arrivals," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Holywood man Conor, who has just graduated in film and TV production from the University of Bradford, was flying back to England to take up his first job.

"I was very shocked," he said.

Things began well at Belfast International airport, but deteriorated as his journey proceeded.

Asked how the social distancing was organised inside the aircraft, Conor said: "It wasn't, really. I assumed they'd space everyone out, but that wasn't the case.

"There were people right next to each other."

The easyJet staff did ask people to wear their masks, he said, "but the issue I had was that they were still serving food and drink - which therefore meant you would be taking your mask off."

When the flight arrived at Manchester, Conor said: "We all got shoved onto a little bus: there were no windows open.

"I've never had to hold my breath for so long!"

Conor's pictures show how close the bus passengers were to each other - but there was no alternative but to board the shuttle bus.

"You can't really do anything. You have to get onto the bus."

Conor said he was in privileged situation: "I was going back to a flat where I live on my own.

"But if I was going back to a family, I don't know what I would be doing - I'd hate to be in that situation."

An easyJet spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph: "The health and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is the airline's highest priority and easyJet has a range of measures in place to ensure this, including enhanced aircraft disinfection and the mandatory wearing of face masks for all customers, cabin crew and ground crew.

"This is important as social distancing is not always possible throughout the journey.

"Additionally all of our aircraft are equipped with HEPA-filters that filter 99.97% of airborne contaminants, which include viruses and bacteria.

"These are the same as those used in hospitals and through them the air gets replaced every 3-4 minutes."

Belfast Telegraph