The passenger, a 27-year-old businesswoman, had a sore throat and a cough before boarding the business class area of the flight on March 1, according to a report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC’s report concluded that the most likely route of transmission was determined by the report to be from “aerosol or droplet transmission”.
It added: “The risk for on-board transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during long flights is real and has the potential to cause Covid-19 clusters of substantial size, even in business class-like settings with spacious seating arrangements well beyond the established distance used to define close contact on airplanes.”
The Washington Post has reported that around 11,000 people caught coronavirus while travelling on planes.
The CDC’s guidelines state that typically viruses do not spread easily on flights due to how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes.
However, it adds: “Social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within six feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting Covid-19.’