Airlines ramp up flight schedules ahead of 'air bridges' announcement

  • london
  • July 1, 2020
  • Comments Off on Airlines ramp up flight schedules ahead of 'air bridges' announcement
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Airlines are ramping up their flight schedules ahead of an expected announcement on so-called ‘air bridges’ to allow people flying from certain countries to avoid quarantine.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Tuesday that air bridges will soon be created to allow people arriving in the UK from certain countries to avoid the 14-day quarantine policy.

A list of exempt destinations will be published later this week.

Mr Shapps also revealed that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is reviewing its position of advising against all non-essential overseas travel.

What are air bridges and which holiday destinations could be included?

More than 1,000 flights per day will be operated from Wednesday by Ryanair, which has run a skeleton schedule since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is restoring almost 90 per cent of its route network but frequencies will be lower than normal, with just 40 per cent of its normal July capacity.

EasyJet will run around 500 flights each day across Europe, including more than 900 a week to and from the UK.

It restarted a small number of flights on June 15 after all its aircraft were grounded in March.

Both airlines require passengers to wear face masks or face coverings as part of enhanced safety and hygiene measures.

British Airways has said it will make a “meaningful return” to service this month.

Ryanair Group’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We expect in July to carry more than 4.5 million customers, many of them families taking well earned Mediterranean holidays after the severe challenges of the Covid-19 lockdown, home schooling, etc.

“These 1,000 daily flights mark an important turning point for Ryanair and for the tourism industry of Europe, which supports so many jobs and small businesses.”

National Express coaches will be back on the road on Wednesday for the first time since April 5.

All passengers will have their temperature checked and anyone with a reading over 38C will not be allowed to travel and given a full refund.

Managing director Chris Hardy said: “It’s great to have around 500 drivers back behind the wheel.

“All of our teams have been working hard to get us ready to safely welcome customers back onboard, implementing significant changes to protect everyone’s health and well being.

“We’re happy to be back on the road and playing our part in getting the country safely moving again by providing a safe option for those who have no alternative to public transport.”