Lufthansa has finally been able to inaugurate its new Frankfurt to Bristol service following 16 months of delays. First announced in October 2019, the route was due to launch on March 30th. Unfortunately, the launch of the route has faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as have many routes around the world.
By now, it seems to have become clear that aviation is healing around the world, and in Europe in particular, falling COVID-19 rates have been tied with increasing vaccination rates. Now that the UK has dropped its quarantine requirements for those vaccinated in the EU, Lufthansa is taking advantage of the new opportunities presented.
Touching down in Bristol
On October 30th, 2019, Lufthansa revealed that it wanted to fly from Frankfurt to Bristol six times a week. The flight had been due to launch at the end of March, but Lufthansa ended up drastically scaling back its global network rather than adding flights.
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Despite 16 months of delays, the route did finally get underway this morning, albeit with a lower frequency of four times a week. For the occasion, Lufthansa selected one of its ten-year-old Embraer E190s registered as D-AECI for the task. According to data from RadarBox.com, the aircraft departed from Frankfurt ahead of schedule at 10:48, before landing around 20 minutes later one and a half hours later at 11:18.
Commenting on the route’s launch a Lufthansa’s Senior Director Sales for Northern Europe Heinrich Lange, told Simple Flying,
“We are extremely pleased to announce that Lufthansa will be operating up to four weekly flights from Bristol Airport this summer, and up to seven weekly flights starting in September… As one of the largest carriers in Europe, with just a short stopover in Frankfurt, our customers will have access to hundreds of connections to numerous destinations within our vast, global network”
A symbolic day
While possibly unintentional, today was a symbolic day for Lufthansa to launch this new flight. Today marked a change in UK government policy, meaning that it is now possible for those vaccinated in the EU to avoid quarantine when entering England. Previously, such individuals would have to quarantine for at least five days, potentially making the route unattractive for many.
The new policy means that those vaccinated traveling from Germany to the UK won’t need to quarantine but will still need to take a rapid test before travel, alongside a PCR test within two days of arrival.
In Germany, the COVID-19 travel risk list was updated on Sunday to remove the low-risk category. The UK is listed as a high-risk area. This means that unvaccinated travelers can only fly across with a compelling reason as the UK is no longer recognized as an EU country. Those who aren’t vaccinated or recently recovered, who do travel, will need to quarantine for five days before taking a COVID-19 test to leave quarantine. However, there are no restrictions on travel if fully vaccinated, with no testing or quarantine required on arrival.
What do you make of Lufthansa’s new connection to Bristol? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!