Airlines Masking Up Their Planes Is One Of The Only Good Things To Happen Lately

Illustration for article titled Airlines Masking Up Their Planes Is One Of The Only Good Things To Happen Lately
Photo: ADEK BERRY/AFP (Getty Images)

COVID-19 pandemic fatigue has long since set in, and I have to admit that I’ve gotten real tired of ads saying we’re all in this together and signs showing emojis with surgical masks on. I am entirely over it. But I’ll give a pass to the airlines that have painted masks onto their planes.

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I was not aware of this phenomenon until recently, when motorsport journalist Peter Leung posted about this on Twitter:

I don’t entirely know why, but seeing planes with masks has warmed the cockles of my icy heart in ways that putting masks on other things—stuffed animals, cars, emojis—has not.

Some airlines have done better than others. The way the Cargolux mask has attached to the ‘C’ in the logo is very clever and makes me feel slightly better about the very human fatigue of having a mask strap tugging at my ear.

Garuda Indonesia has started a campaign to encourage people to wear masks by allowing folks to submit different designs to the airline that will be painted on the masks its planes will wear. It tied in with the governmental campaign called “Ayo pakai masker,” meaning “Please wear masks.” I dig it. It makes the minor annoyance of masks a little more fun, and since only five planes were decorated with the designs, it would be a nice little treat to find out you were flying on one of those. Other planes were fitted with a plain blue surgical mask.

I don’t know what’s going on with the Kalitta Air mask. It kind of looks like a man in a thong is a little bit too happy to see me, but at the same time… I love it. Great work, team.

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It’s a little bright spot of hope in otherwise dismal times, where air travel is increasing despite CDC recommendations people not fly if they can avoid it because most of the world is still unvaccinated and there’s still the possibility of spreading COVID-19. A plane with a cute mask probably won’t do much in the way of improving safety, but at least it’s cute.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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