Easyjet took to the skies for the first time in 11 weeks, as it resumed domestic flights with social distancing measures in place.
The budget airline will relaunch 310 flights across its European network, as its first flight took off from London Gatwick at 7am this morning for Glasgow.
The majority of flights this month will be on domestic routes with Easyjet planning around half of its 1022 routes in July. This will increase to around 75 per cent in August. While operations will mostly resume on domestic routes this week, flights also resumed today on routes from France, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal.
Passengers and crew are required to wear masks and aircraft are regularly being deep cleaned. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitisers will also be made available, the airline said.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said the safety 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.”
Safety measures will be extended to airports too, where passengers will be encouraged to use the automated bag drops to check in hold luggage. The airline said it encourages customers to check in online and download boarding passes to smart phones or print their own, to manage the spread of infection.
Lundgren said: “I am really pleased to be relaunching our flights and welcoming customers back onboard today.”
“While we are starting with a small number of flights this will build over the coming weeks to cover around 75% of our network by August. This is good news for customers wanting to go on their planned holiday over the summer or wishing to book a break away.”
Easyjet has been devastated by the pandemic after it was forced to stop operations in late March as the virus took hold in the UK. Last month the airline said it planned to cut 4,500 jobs, around 30 per cent of its workforce.