Luton Airport-based low-cost carrier easyJet is now ready to resume operations some 11 weeks after the last easyJet flight touched down at Gatwick Airport. Since easyJet flew stranded holidaymakers back from Tenerife on March 29, the entire easyJet fleet was grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European budget airline now says that it will resume flights on select routes that it thinks will be profitable starting from June 15. The first flight penciled in for take-off on Monday morning is EZY883, a short 90-minute hop between London Gatwick and Glasgow.
Tickets on flights are not cheap
While rail travelers are being asked to only travel if it is considered an essential journey, easyJet is not putting any such stipulations. While many of us were under the impression that flying after the coronavirus would be inexpensive, easyJet has cast doubt on that by charging £175 ($219) for a one-way flight. This is according to The Independent, who say they purchased a ticket six days in advance for the 370-mile journey.
As easyJet prepares for its first post-COVID-19 flight, passengers are being phoned up individually to see if they still intend to travel. When talking to The Independent, a spokesperson for easyJet said:
“We just want to ensure customers are aware the flights are going ahead as we haven’t flown for many weeks.”
Face masks must be worn at the airport, at the gate when boarding the aircraft, and during the flight.
“You will not be permitted to board if you arrive at the gate without one.
“Only children under the age of six, and those with a valid medical reason supported by a letter from a medical practitioner are exempt.”
easyJet wants you to check your carry-on
Following guidelines issued by the Department for Transportation, easyJet asks passengers with large carry-ons to check them into the hold. This is to help reduce boarding times and the amount of time passengers spend standing in the aisle.
An easyJet spokesperson said:
“We are allowing passengers to bring hand luggage on board, but asking them to try and minimize this and advising them they will be required to stow it themselves in the overhead lockers.”
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is against doing this saying it will expose more people to the risk of catching the virus, telling The Independent:
“We’re recommending passengers do exactly the opposite: maximize carry-on bags and minimize checked-in bags.
“Even though, clearly, we make more money out of checked-in bags.”
If you decide to check a bag on easyJet’s flight to Scotland, it will cost you a further £25.49, which takes the cost of a ticket above £200 ($250). During the short flight, no drinks or snacks will be available, but the crew will supply drinking water if it is requested. Also, getting up to use the lavatories is not permitted without first getting cabin crew approval.
To reassure its passengers, easyJet says:
“Our aircraft are already fitted with HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air] filters, the same as those used in hospitals, replacing cabin air every three to four minutes.
“The cabin is thoroughly disinfected daily, which provides surface protection from viruses that lasts for at least 24 hours.”
Other United Kingdom airports that will see easyJet flights resume include:
- The Isle of Man,
- and Newcastle.
A notable exception from the list is Luton Airport from where easyJet has its headquarters and Manchester Airport.
Seven airports in France will see easyJets flights and include,
- Paris CDG,
- and Toulouse.
Other European airports include Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, and Geneva.
easyJet plans to operate 30% of its usual summer flights
Starting July 1, easyJet will ramp up operations with an increase in routes, but it plans to operate only 30% of the summer flights it had scheduled before the coronavirus.
The airline says:
“As Europe begins to reopen, we’re doing everything possible to reunite you with the loved ones and destinations you’ve missed, in the safest way we can.”
Currently, the United Kingdom has imposed a 14-day quarantine period for people entering the country, but given the backlash from the travel industry, it may be short-lived.
What do you think about easyJet’s ticket price? Will it remain high throughout the summer, or will they be forced to drop fares to compete with Ryanair and Jet2? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.