Low-cost airline Wizz Air has become the first to re-establish flights between London and Europe, with planes scheduled to take off next week.
Flights will leave London Luton for Tenerife, Lisbon, Budapest and other major cities from May 1. Seats are priced at £ 16.99 but many countries to which they fly will refuse entry to foreign nationals.
The continent’s blockage of coronavirus has seen European air traffic collapse by at least 90%, according to IATA, as countries fight epidemics.
The managing director of Gatwick, Britain’s second busiest airport, today called on ministers to introduce regulations requiring passengers to be tested for Covid-19 at least 48 hours before travel.
Wizz Air to resume flights from London Luton on May 1 to cities in Europe and Israel
Wizz Air will start flying to these destinations from London Luton. Flights begin May 1
Cabin crew must wear face masks and gloves on aircraft and passengers must use hand sanitizer. Planes will be disinfected overnight
Wizz Air has announced a set of protective measures for passengers and staff.
The cabin crew will have to wear masks and gloves throughout the trips and disinfectant wipes will be distributed to passengers, the airline said.
The aircraft will also be disinfected overnight if they have been used for flights.
The airline has not said that passengers will have to wear face masks on flights, although many do.
Flights are expected to take off on a third unladen flight to leave space between passengers on board, after CEO Jozsef Varadi announced plans to make the changes earlier this month -this.
Other low-cost airlines have yet to announce plans to move their fleets.
Main rival Ryanair has kept 99 percent of its fleet on the ground while operating a few scheduled flights until April 30. EasyJet takes flight reservations from May 18.
Photo of a Wizz Air aircraft delivering protective equipment from China to Hungary
The boss of Britain’s second busiest airport has also requested that travelers be required to carry “health passports” when traveling on international flights. Pictured: Gatwick Airport
Wizz Air offers flights to Spain, Portugal and Hungary as well as to eight cities in Romania, Belgrade in Serbia, Bratislava in Slovakia and Tel Aviv in Israel.
Spain, Serbia and Slovakia deny entry to all foreign nationals, according to the Foreign Ministry, and will only accept their own citizens or those who travel for essential reasons.
Romania requires that all travelers from the UK be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Hungary and Portugal force all travelers to undergo medical checks. Anyone arriving in Hungary with symptoms will be quarantined for 14 days. In Portugal, anyone with symptoms will be referred to the health authorities.
The lockdown has wiped out airline revenues, tipping many of them to the brink of collapse. Virgin Atlantic has previously called for a £ 500 million state bailout.
Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate called on ministers to establish a framework for putting the planes back into flight.
He said passengers should be required to undergo mandatory testing for the virus 48 hours before the trip and carry “health passports” certifying their uninfected status.
He added that they should wear face masks on flights, although noted that many are already taking this precaution.
The Department of Transport has set up a task force with the aviation industry to start discussions on how to revive the industry as Britain emerges from the lockout.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc would find “smart solutions” to allow air travel to resume in time for summer vacation.
She told the Portuguese publication Expresso Sunday that vacations can be “a little different, with other hygiene measures, with a little more social distance”, but that solutions will be found.
But she warned that no reliable forecast could be made for trips in July and August.
Stewart Wingate, managing director of Gatwick, (left) called on the government to take action to make the flights fly again. The Department of Transport, led by Grant Shapps (right), has established a task force to discuss options
Passenger numbers have dropped since the Foreign Ministry advised against everything except essential travel.
It is estimated that 140 million fewer passengers will take to the air this year, hitting the sector with an estimated loss of revenue of £ 21.1 billion.
From May 1, Wizz Air will begin flying to Budapest, eight destinations in Romania, Lisbon, Tenerife, Belgrade, Bratislava and Tel Aviv in Israel without any other restrictions.
Wizz Air CEO Owain Jones said, “As we restart certain Luton flights to provide essential service to passengers who need to travel, our main concern is the health, safety and well-being of our customers and of our crew.
“The protective measures we are implementing will guarantee the most hygienic hygienic conditions possible.
“We encourage our customers to watch our new video on how to stay safe while on the go, as well as for more details on our new health and safety measures. “