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EasyJet to restart flights on 75% of routes by end of summer

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Tuesday 02 Jun 2020

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - EasyJet has unveiled plans to resume flying this summer, with up to three quarters of its flight network expected to be operational by the end of August.

The budget carrier grounded the majority of its fleet at the end of March, after the Covid-19 pandemic halted all but essential travel and closed borders. EasyJet has since announced plans to cut more than 4,500 jobs.

However, with lockdown measures gradually being eased, easyJet has already said it intends to resume some operations from 15 June, and on Tuesday it significantly expanded that, with plans to fly half of its 1,022 routes in July and 75% in August.

Frequency, however, will be considerably lower, equating to just 30% of normal July-to-September capacity.

A number of safety measures have also been introduced. No food will be served onboard, all passengers, cabin and ground crew will be required to wear masks, and planes will be subject to a daily disinfection process on top of existing cleaning schedules.

Social distancing will also be enforced in airports and while boarding. Onboard, however, customers will only be "invited" to sit at distance from customers outside their party "where seats are available".

Robert Carey, chief commercial and planning officer, said the resumption of flights meant "customers can still get to their chosen destination for their summer holidays this year". The airline is also launching what it called its "biggest ever" summer sale, with cheap flights to European destinations between 1 July and 31 October.

The airline intends to fly to France, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Egypt, among other locations, during the summer.

As at 1345 BST, shares in easyJet were trading 2% higher at 723.0p. The stock, which was trading at more than 1,500.0p at the end of February, has been hit hard by the collapse in global air travel.