Easyjet today committed to restarting some domestic flights from 15 June, with all passengers and crew required to wear face masks.
The budget airline will resume a “small number” of flights mainly on domestic routes in the UK and France where “there is sufficient customer demand to support profitable flying”.
Easyjet said it plans to introduce new routes over the coming weeks as coronavirus lockdowns ease and customer demand rises.
But customers, cabin crew and ground crew must wear face masks, while the flyer will undertake “enhanced” cleaning and disinfection of its aircraft.
It will also make disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser available and forego an in-flight food service for now.
“We will 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,” Easyjet added.
“The measures have been implemented in consultation with aviation authorities ICAO and EASA, and in line with government and medical advice.”
Easyjet to beat Ryanair’s return to the skies
Easyjet’s share price rose 3.4 per cent to 569.2p in early trading on the back of the announcement.
The budget airline’s decision means Easyjet planes will hit the skies a month before Ryanair, which plans to resume 1,000 flights a day from 1 July.
It follows the flyer’s admission that hackers managed to access 9m passengers’ personal data, and 2,000 people’s credit cards, in a recent cyber attack.
We’re sorry that this has happened, and we would like to reassure customers that we take the safety and security of their information very seriously,” Easyjet said.
The airline received a £600m coronavirus bailout from the Bank of England in early April to keep it afloat during the pandemic.
Along with other airlines, Easyjet has grounded its entire fleet of more than 350 aircraft over worldwide travel bans introduced to combat the virus.
Fellow UK airline British Airways has announced it will make up to 12,000 job cuts over the pandemic, warning it does not see a return to 2019 levels of passenger demand for “several years”.
Travel operator Tui has also outlined 8,000 job cuts while aerospace supplier Rolls-Royce has warned of 9,000 redundancies.
Founder of Easyjet Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has become embroiled in a row with his airline’s order of £4.5bn worth of Airbus planes, which Easyjet has stuck to despite the pandemic.
In the latest left-turn in the ongoing row, Haji-Ioannou has offered to pay £5m to anybody who offers information that forces Easyjet to scrap the deal.
The founder has said the deal would leave Easyjet without enough cash to survive the coronavirus crisis.