A campaign by pandemic-stricken aviation giants to persuade the world it's safe to fly has been questioned by one of the very scientists on whose research it draws.

Dr. David Freedman, a U.S. infectious diseases specialist, said he declined to take part in a recent presentation by global airline body IATA with plane-makers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer that cited his work.

While he welcomed some industry findings as "encouraging," Freedman said a key assertion about the improbability of catching COVID-19 on planes was based on "bad math."