easyJet returns to skies for first time since Covid-19 lockdown
easyJet has today relaunched flights from 22 airports across Europe for the first time since operations ceased at the end of March as a result of the pandemic.
The first flight from the UK took off from London Gatwick at 07:00 this morning for Glasgow.
This is the same destination the airline first flew to when easyJet first launched operations in November 1995.
During the lockdown period the fleet of aircraft has been maintained in a flight ready condition to enable the airline to resume flights at the right time.
This means that easyJet also will relaunch 310 flights this week across the airline’s European network including from London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Belfast in the UK, on mainly domestic routes.
Some flights also resumed today on domestic and international routes from France, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal.
The majority of flights during June will be on domestic routes with the airline planning to fly around 50 per cent of its 1,022 routes in July increasing to around 75 per cent in August, although with a lower frequency of flights equating to around 30 per cent of normal July to September capacity.
A new range of additional measures are in place to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew onboard.
These include enhanced aircraft disinfection for easyJet aircraft; customers, cabin crew and ground crew will be required to wear masks; there will also initially be no food service onboard flights, all of which operate on a short-haul network.
The 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.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, commented: “I am really pleased to be relaunching our flights and welcoming customers back onboard today.
“Of course, the safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew remains our highest priority.
“This is why we have implemented 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.”
At the controls of the first flight to Scotland were captain David Morgan and captain Kate McWilliams, with Tina Milton, Natalie Puncher, Christopher Bailey, Millie Hellwing and Jaye Sellers looking after customers in the cabin.
Take a look at a series of shots from the relaunch here.