The first international commercial flights have taken off from London City airport since the airport closed due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 25.

The airport reopened on June 21, initially serving domestic routes, and BA Cityflyer has now resumed international services from LCY to Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Málaga and Florence.

The airport said that there had been “massive demand” for the routes, following the removal of quarantine restrictions for arrivals from destinations including France, Italy and Spain.

LCY said that bookings for the flights “have exceeded expectations, with passengers eager to take advantage of the safe travel conditions and new rules to have a well-deserved holiday”.

Further international routes will resume on July 13, to Amsterdam with KLM, and to Luxembourg with Luxair. Further ahead BA Cityflyer will add flights to Nice, Mahon, Faro and Bergerac from August 1.

Last month the airport surveyed 4,700 passengers, of which 79 per cent said that they were either very likely or quite likely to travel when they are told it is safe to do so by the Government and airports or airlines.

Over four in ten (42 per cent ) of respondents said they planned to travel for leisure within the next three months, and a similar number (41 per cent) said they planned to take a flight for business over the same period.

Travellers are required to wear face coverings inside the airport, and a range of other measures have been introduced to protect both customers and staff, including:

  • An enhanced cleaning regime, including a long-life anti-microbial surface treatment called Zonitise, used throughout the airport
  • Touch-free hand sanitiser stations
  • One-way systems
  • Perspex screens at key points of interaction, such as check-in desks
  • Clear signage and floor markings to help maintain social distancing and guide you through the airport
  • Advance crowd monitoring technology to identify and manage busy areas, using CrowdVision
  • Non-contact, automatic temperature checking technology for rapid preliminary screening
  • Staff using face masks or visors and gloves

Caffe Nero, WHSmith and Boots concessions have now reopened, and LCY said that “retail, food and beverage concessions are reopening in line with passenger numbers”.

Commenting on the route resumptions London City airport’s chief commercial officer, Richard Hill, said:

“Today marks the start of the summer getaway season, and it’s clear that customers value the safe, careful and speedy environment that we’ve created.

“I’m also delighted to see BA Cityflyer back operating from their home airport. Our partnership has been tremendously successful in the past and I am confident that it will be again, especially with more leisure routes like Nice, Mahon, Faro and Bergerac to follow, as well more daily rotations to Malaga, Ibiza and Palma.

“Looking ahead, I anticipate we’ll see more of our airline partners re-starting services in the coming weeks, encouraged by the demand we’re experiencing in the London market.”