By Steve Hartridge, published 3/06/20
EasyJet has confirmed plans to resume flying to almost three-quarters of its route network by August, although at lower frequencies.
It plans to operate half its 1,022 routes in July and 75% in August, although with a reduced schedule it will only fly around less than a third of its normal July to September capacity.
This will include flying to and from all its UK bases in July and August and to key business cities including Paris, Milan and Rome.
EasyJet will also resume flights on popular leisure routes, including the Balearics, Canary Islands, Croatia, Portugal, Egypt and Morocco.
Although the Foreign Office is still advising against all but essential travel from the UK, restrictions in other countries are being relaxed.
The travel sector is now stepping up pressure on the UK Government to lift the blanket ban and to rethink its plans to force anyone arriving in the UK, including returning British citizens, to quarantine for 14 days.
Airlines and other travel providers hope air bridges can be established between destinations deemed COVID-19 safe.
EasyJet has already confirmed that some UK domestic flights will resume from June 15, including flights from Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Belfast.
It has written to all customers to share a new ‘Europe with Confidence Pledge’, promising to look after passengers’ wellbeing, reaffirm its commitment on sustainability and ‘continue to offer great value’.
It says its teams will be conducting additional deep cleaning and disinfection of aircraft and all passengers and crew will be required to wear masks at all times.
In addition, as it starts up, easyJet will be distributing passengers across the aircraft to meet social distancing guidelines where possible and is removing its onboard Bistro service ‘for the time being’.
Ground crew and cabin will not handle any customer documents during boarding so customers will be asked to present and scan their own documents.
EasyJet already encourages all customers to check in online and download their boarding pass onto their smart phone or to print their own boarding passes before arriving at the airport.
It says measures have been implemented in consultation with aviation authorities ICAO and EASA and in line with relevant national authorities and medical advice through the airline’s chief medical adviser.