Easyjet says it will resume a limited number of flights from June 15, and has outlined new “biosecurity measures”.
The low-cost carrier grounded its entire fleet at the end of March, but now says that “A small number of flights will restart on routes where we believe there is sufficient customer demand to support profitable flying”.
Exact details have yet to be published, but Easyjet said that “The initial schedule will comprise mainly domestic flying in the UK and France”, with further routes set to be announced over the coming weeks “as customer demand increases and lockdown measures across Europe are relaxed”.
The carrier recently secured a £600 million loan from the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, and has deferred delivery of at least 24 Airbus aircraft which it was due to receive over the next three years.
The airline has published the following health and hygiene measures, which are being implemented “in consultation with aviation authorities ICAO and EASA, and in line with government and medical advice”:
- Customers, cabin and ground crew will be required to wear masks
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of Easyjet aircraft
- Availability of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser onboard
- Initially, no onboard food service
In addition Easyjet said that it would continue to promote its mobile app, which “avoids paper boarding passes”, and would work closely with partner airports to ensure recommended measures are implemented.
The resumption of flights follows rival low-cost carrier Ryanair’s announcement that it plans to return to 40 per cent of its schedule in July.
Easyjet said that it would “continue to refine our schedule planning and our capacity expectations for the remainder of 2020, which will be confirmed in due course, whilst also continuing our focus on minimising cash burn”.
Commenting on the news Johan Lundgren, Easyjet’s CEO said:
“I am really pleased that we will be returning to flying in the middle of June. These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to gradually 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.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers remains our highest priority, which is why we are implementing a number of measures to enhance 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.”