It may be months yet before you can jet off for a sun-splashed getaway on the other side of the planet. But in a sign the aviation industry could get up and running again actually surprisingly soon, EasyJet has announced it will restart some flights from June 15 – and said 75 percent of its routes would be reopened by the end of August.
On May 21, the low-cost airline said it would restart a ‘small number’ of domestic routes ‘where there is enough demand’ across the UK and France. A list published by the BBC includes services between British airports including London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast – but also international flights from the UK to Nice and from Switzerland to Barcelona, Lisbon and Porto.
In a further statement yesterday, the carrier said half of its routes would be running by July, rising to 75 percent by the end of August. However, daily services will drop and the airline will be operating at around 30 percent of normal capacity between July and September, a spokesperson said.
As part of new in-flight policy, passengers and cabin crew will be asked to wear a face mask. Hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes will be provided, and no food will be available on board.
The rules were drawn up in accordance with official government advice and the latest guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency. In a document issued yesterday, the EU regulator also recommended that passengers wear face masks, wash hands often and keep 1.5 metres from others at airports.
EasyJet’s entire fleet has been grounded since March. Of the routes being reintroduced on June 15, Johan Lundgren, the airline’s chief executive, said that ‘these are small and carefully planned steps’ and that more would be announced over the coming months as lockdown restrictions are lifted across Europe.
It’s worth mentioning that there are plenty of people still waiting for refunds on cancelled flights after EasyJet grounded its fleet in late March. But anything that brings our next far-flung holiday – or picturesque staycation – a little closer to reality is very welcome news right now.