But that is not practically possible as a solution, and would indeed only be so if followed worldwide but we all know that's certainly not going happen in certain countries. In fact, to 'strictly enforce' the measures you mention may very well result in the majority of airlines going under. If so, so be it, and while it may be harsh and 'unholy' to say it on an airline forum the harsh truth is the world doesn't solely revolve around the health of airlines.
'Strictly enforce' means whatever authorities of a specific country decide. Some will prohibit all travel, others will allow full travel with hardly any caveats.
In my comment, I meant the term to be the wearing of face masks by all passengers and crew at all times, no travelling when presenting symptoms, a temperature check before passengers or crew reach the gate area, hot towels / hand sanitiser for all passengers, the list goes on...
The point is not all airports and airlines are undertaking these measures yet and no consistent rules between different countries.
A lot of attitudes and actions will change once air travel picks-up again in the next few weeks.
While the World "doesn't solely revolve around the health of airlines", air travel is important to many countries and will be the catalyst to jumpstart their economies.
Airlines went bankrupt with the model of chasing capacity and ignoring yield. Airlines are not going to flood the market with seats. If they do go with denser cabins, they are going to reduce overall flights. That takes cash to reconfigure, so it will be for the long term if they do. In the near term they can fly reduced schedules.
Now if regulators force airlines to fly planes with empty seats for distancing, this is going to cause airlines to lose revenue and passengers to pay higher ticket prices. No one wins in that scenario.
Who said anything about flooding the market with seats? I only said to add more economy seats.
That will come at the expense of some
premium seating, but not all.
It's unlikely that BA will come anywhere near filling all 56 J seats on a 77W or all 86 J on a 744 any time soon, so take out two rows of J (16 seats on both types) and replace them with 5 rows of Y (~50 and 45 seats respectively).
J seats only earn an airline 4x as much income as a Y seat when they are filled. As stated by concordeforever earlier, "2019 passenger levels are not expected to return until 2023."
In the aftermath of the GFC, my previous firm restricted travel to economy for flights < 8 hours until 2017. It wouldn't surprise me if type of company policy was replicated by lots of businesses.
So why carry the extra weight of J seating until sometime (maybe) in 2023 and choose to forgo the opportunity to fill the space with Y? Refitting cabins costs money, yes, but the opportunity cost of lost revenue over 3 years is likely to be more.
As I also said earlier, yield is taken care of through restricting the number of seats by operating fewer flights.