Air France says passengers must wear masks from May 11

FILE PHOTO: Air France logos are seen at Nice international airport, as a lockdown is imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Nice, France April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - French carrier Air France is to require all passengers on board its flights to wear masks from May 11 to comply with French government guidelines on COVID-19 protection measures.

The company said in a statement that passengers would have to supply the masks themselves, and would be expected to keep them on for the duration of their flight.

Major airlines, among them Lufthansa, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, have already mandated face masks for all passengers.

Airlines globally have taken a severe financial hit from the COVID-10 pandemic and resulting slowdown in air travel, and are now seeking to reassure customers it is safe to fly.

Some though have resisted proposals to reduce passenger numbers on each flight to ensure social distancing, saying that would be uneconomic.

Reporting by Laurence Frost; writing by Christian Lowe; editing by Jason Neely