Evaluation of SARS-COV-2 transmission and infection in airliner cabins

Wensi Wang, Feng Wang, Dayi Lai, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Commercial airliners have played an important role in spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus worldwide. This study used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on a flight from London to Hanoi and another from Singapore to Hangzhou. The dispersion of droplets of different sizes generated by coughing, talking, and breathing activities in a cabin by an infected person was simulated by means of the Lagrangian method. The SARS-CoV-2 virus contained in expiratory droplets traveled with the cabin air distribution and was inhaled by other passengers. Infection was determined by counting the number of viral copies inhaled by each passenger. According to the results, our method correctly predicted 84% of the infected/uninfected cases on the first flight. The results also show that wearing masks and reducing conversation frequency between passengers could help to reduce the risk of exposure on the second flight.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12979
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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