EasyJet announced today it will resume flights from some airports in Britain, France and Spain from June 15, with all passengers and crew told to wear face masks.
The low-cost carrier, which has been grounded since late March, said it would likely operate domestic flights only between 22 airports, with more routes added when they became viable.
In the UK, the initial cities include Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Belfast. On the Continent, planes will fly from locations including Paris, Barcelona and Geneva.
As part of new safety and hygiene measures, passengers and crew will be required to wear masks on board aircraft.
There will be no food sold during flights, enhanced cleaning of planes, and disinfection wipes and hand sanitiser made available to passengers.
In addition customers will be asked to scan their own passports and boarding documents to avoid staff having to touch them, while social distancing will be enforced on planes ‘where seats are available’.
A number of other airlines have announced tentative plans to ramp up their operations from the skeleton schedules currently being used due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ryanair plans to restore 40% of its flights from July 1, while British Airways is due to make a ‘meaningful return’ to service in the same month.
‘I am really pleased that we will be returning to flying in the middle of June,’ EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said.
‘These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to gradually resume operations.’
Ryanair is also making masks compulsory, as airlines add measures aimed at reassuring customers they can get back onboard safely amid worries about coronavirus spreading on crowded planes.