EasyJet flies for first time since March with new rules including face masks
EASYJET planes took off today for the first time since March as passengers now have to travel with new safety rules including mandatory face masks.
Pictures from this morning show passengers boarding the early morning flight from London Gatwick to Glasgow.
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The flight landed just before 8am as easyJet has resumed with a minimal service, flying mainly routes within Britain to cities including Edinburgh and Belfast.
It is also resuming some domestic and international routes from France, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal.
Good Morning Britain's Travel Expert Simon Calder showed the crowded flight from his seat.
When asked if he could socially distance on the flight he said: "No, you absolutely can't."
He panned his camera around the flight and added: "Look I do happen to have grabbed a couple of empty seats and you'll see behind me there's quite a lot of empty seats.
"But if I turn the camera around you'll see it's quite crowded on board.
"And of course everybody is wearing masks and the hope is if we all carry on wearing masks then we will be able to stay safe."
EasyJet's boss has insisted he would "feel 100% safe" on packed planes as the airline restarts operations for the first time in 11 weeks.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said they took advise from international regulators to develop a strict safety and hygiene regime before resuming flights today.
Passengers and crew are required to wear masks, aircraft are regularly deep-cleaned, and disinfection wipes and hand sanitiser are being made available.
Mr Lundgren said not operating a single flight in nearly three months has been "devastating", and the airline is "super-excited" to return to the skies.
When asked if he was worried about his health if the plane is full, Mr Lundgren said: "I would feel 100% safe.
"The recommendations that we've implemented have been defined together with international regulators Easa (European Aviation Safety Agency), ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and also our own company's medical doctors and expertise."
The Airbus A321neo – easyJet's largest aircraft – can seat 235 passengers.
Mr Lundgren said he believes summer holidays will be possible, despite the 14-day quarantine policy and current travel restrictions imposed in the UK.
He added: "We would hope and would be really looking forward to restrictions being either lifted, or air bridges put in place where it made sense to do so, allowing UK customers as well as people in the rest of Europe to be able to go on a holiday."
EasyJet, alongside rivals British Airways and Ryanair, started legal action on Friday to try and get the UK Government to overturn its quarantine policy.
Airlines have also be cutting costs to try and survive the pandemic as flights were grounded – drying up revenue.
In May, easyJet said it was planning to cut 4,500 jobs, or 30 per cent of its workforce.
The airline hopes to ramp up services and by August it said it will be flying about three-quarters of routes but at a much lower frequency than last year.
Between the July and September season, capacity will be about 30 percent of what it normally is, easyJet said.
The airline's rival Ryanair plans to be flying 40 per cent of capacity by July.
EasyJet flights restarting on June 15
- Belfast-London Gatwick
- Edinburgh-London Gatwick
- Glasgow-London Gatwick
- Inverness-London Gatwick
- Isle of Man-London Gatwick
- Isle of Man-Liverpool
- London Gatwick-Belfast
- London Gatwick-Edinburgh
- London Gatwick-Glasgow
- London Gatwick-Inverness
- London Gatwick-Isle of Man
- London Gatwick-Nice
- Liverpool-Isle of Man
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