EasyJet has said it plans to resume a small number of flights in mid June, which will initially see the airline fly domestic routes in the UK and France.
The budget carrier said it will add further routes in subsequent weeks as customer demand increases and lockdown measures across Europe ease.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said the plan is for flights to commence on June 15, adding that they 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”.
EasyJet’s plan comes as airlines across the world are tentatively looking at resuming flights in the coming months. Dubai-based Emirates restarted a select number of long-haul flights – including UK to Australia – on Thursday May 21, while Ryanair intends to resume about 40 per cent of its capacity from July.
The airline also announced several new health measures designed to restore consumers’ confidence in air travel. These include customers and staff being required to wear masks, enhanced cleaning of its aircraft and temporarily halting its on-board food service.
It will also provide disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser to passengers.
This comes as the European Aviation Safety Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control published a set of joint guidelines for a safe resumption of air travel. This included measures such as wearing face masks, physical distancing of 1.5 metres where possible at airports and the frequent washing of hands.
The guidelines also said when physical distancing of 1.5 metres was not possible due to infrastructure. carriers and airport operators should implement additional risk mitigation measures such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.