After almost three months of being grounded, a mini moment of micro-history took place today when an easJet flight, Britain’s biggest budget airline, took off at 7am this morning (June 15).
The last flight was on 29th March, when the carrier repatriated stranded passengers from Tenerife to Gatwick. After that, all 344 Airbus planes were grounded.
Passengers and crew have to wear masks (children under six excepted), and onboard there are spare PPE items including masks, gloves and hand sanitiser. No food will be served for the time being.
Check-in of hold bags is via automated bag drops points and check-in desks now have protective screens in place.
Documents such as passports and boarding cards will no longer be handled by ground crew and passengers now have to present and scan their own documents.
This flight is the start of a further 310 flights that will be taking to the skies from London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Belfast in the UK to mainly domestic routes. A few flights will head to France, Switzerland, Itlay and Portgual as well.
CEO Johan Lundgren said:
“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.
“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.”
The government guidance tells passengers to only take hold luggage. In accordance with this, easyJet is urging passengers to check larger pieces of luggage into the hold.