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JetBlue Will Block Middle Seats in Coronavirus Safety Plan

JetBlue unveiled a coronavirus cleaning and safety campaign that includes blocking the middle seats.

JetBlue  (JBLU) - Get JetBlue Airways Corporation Report will block out the middle seat on its planes through the July 4 holiday as the worldwide coronavirus clampdown eases and the beleaguered airline industry looks to lure back wary passengers.

JetBlue unveiled a "Safety From The Ground Up" campaign to ease fears of flying amid the pandemic. 

It said it planned to keep middle seats empty on its larger Airbus  (EADSY) - Get Airbus SE Report jets, except in cases of families or others traveling together. 

On smaller Embraer 190 aircraft, JetBlue said it instead will block the aisle seats.

In addition to blocking off seats, JetBlue unveiled an array of new cleaning procedures and health measures, part of what the airline is calling its "more space, fewer touchpoints" initiative.

Starting in the first week of June, JetBlue will begin conducting temperature checks for all its 23,000 crew members, from pilots to flight attendants.

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All crew members will also be required to wear face coverings, while pilots will be provided with disinfectant kits as well for use on the flight deck.

JetBlue said it will also be ramping up cleaning and disinfection of common areas, like kiosks and check-in counters, while also providing hand sanitizer in terminals and wipes to customers who request it.

The airline said it would soon begin electrostatic spraying of its jet cabins in June while installing hospital-grade air filters as well.

At last check shares of JetBlue rose 4.2% to $9.29 a share. 

Investors appear more optimistic amid signs of increased bookings and declining cancellations in the airline industry.

JetBlue's new coronavirus safety campaign comes as United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report rolls out a similar UnitedCleanPlus initiative also aimed at easing the concerns of worried passengers. 

United Airlines Unveils Safety Plan to Reassure Jittery Travelers