LONDON – easyJet (U2) has this week announced it will resume flights on June 15, following severe suspensions in operations due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
The airline has said that it will be restarting operations with a “small number” of routes and is dependent on where the demand allows it to occur.
Strong Focus on UK Market Restart
Initial plans will see the carrier operate flights between the UK and France, with some focus on Switzerland, Spain and Portugal too. They are as follows:
- Belfast-London Gatwick
- Edinburgh-London Gatwick
- Glasgow-London Gatwick
- Inverness-London Gatwick
- Isle of Man-London Gatwick
- Isle of Man-Liverpool
- London Gatwick-Belfast
- London Gatwick-Edinburgh
- London Gatwick-Glasgow
- London Gatwick-Inverness
- London Gatwick-Isle of Man
- London Gatwick-Nice
- Liverpool-Isle of Man
- Paris Charles de Gaulle-Nice
- Paris Charles de Gaulle-Toulouse
- Nice-Paris Charles de Gaulle
- Nice-London Gatwick
- Toulouse-Paris Charles de Gaulle
Johan Lundgren, the CEO of easyJet commented on the reopening of operations for next month.
“I am really pleased that we will be returning to some flying in the middle of June. These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to resume operations. We will continue to closely monitor the situation across Europe so that when more restrictions are lifted the schedule will continue to build over time to match demand while also ensuring we are operating efficiently and on routes that our customers want to fly.
easyJet Pushing Customers to be Safe
Lundgren was also key to note some of the requirements that passengers will need to meet in order to fly.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew remain our highest priority which is why we are implementing a number of measures enhancing safety at each part of the journey from disinfecting the aircraft to requiring customers and crew to wear masks.”
“These measures will remain in place for as long as is needed to ensure customers and crew are able to fly safely as the world continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic”, he added.
Such measures that will be taken will be the use of enhanced aircraft cleaning and disinfection as well as the common use of personal protective equipment from both passengers and the crew.
States Beginning to Reopen their Economies and Listen to Airlines
It is understood that such measures have been agreed on by ICAO and EASA, which have recently announced guidelines regarding social distancing at holiday resorts as well as the for the general reopening of the tourist sector.
The roadmap entails a “phased and coordinated approach” in order to boost freedom of movement once again within the European Union, with such requirements as a virus tests or living in a green zone before being able to travel.
However, the UK has taken a different approach regarding such quarantine measures, by which passengers have to isolate themselves for two weeks upon arrival into the country.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has labeled this as an “idiotic” move by the government, but has welcomed the EU’s approach to restarting the industry.
“14-day quarantines are ineffective and unimplementable. Requiring international arrivals to quarantine only after they have used multiple public transport providers to get from the airport to their ultimate destination has no basis in science or medicine.”
We welcome the European Union’s recommendation on face masks and call again on the Irish and UK Government to abandon their unexplainable, ineffective, and unimplementable quarantine restrictions.”
“Europe’s citizens can travel safely on their summer holidays wearing face masks and observing temperature protocols, but 14-day quarantines have no scientific basis, are unimplementable and unnecessary in circumstances where airline, train and underground passengers wear face masks where social distancing isn’t possible.”
In-all, it is somewhat of a hard dilemma in regards to the travel-government relationship.
It is the states’ responsibility to ensure that no unneccessary deaths occur as a result of removing travel restrictions too early.
On the other hand, it is something that the longer such restrictions go on, the more likely airlines will struggle and face losses that are unrecoverable.
That fine line in light of the Coronavirus pandemic is difficult to define, and we can only hope that the decisions taken in the future are not the wrong ones.