EasyJet flights from Bristol Airport take off again – but quarantine rule grounds international links

June 17, 2020

Low-cost airline easyJet has resumed flights from Bristol Airport after introducing new bio security measures for passengers and crew.

The carrier’s daily service to and from Belfast are the airport’s only flights at present. EasyJet has vowed to fly around 55% of its Bristol routes next month and 80% in August – although with a lower frequency of flights. 

The majority of easyJet’s flights over the next two weeks will be on domestic routes due to the UK government’s 14-day quarantine rule.

However, this will be reviewed by ministers at the end of this month with airports and the tourism industry lobbying hard for it to be scrapped. Bristol is one of eight UK airports to resume easyJet services this week.

EasyJet, Bristol’s largest operator, grounded its entire fleet of aircraft at the end of March. The airline has 17 aircraft based at Bristol serving 72 destinations – more than half the airport’s total – and operates around 770 flights a week from Bristol in the peak summer period.

It employs nearly 700 people at the airport, including cockpit crew and cabin crew.

EasyJet UK country manager Ali Gayward, pictured, said: “While we are starting with a small number of flights this will build over the coming weeks. This is good news for customers wanting to go on their planned holiday over the summer or wishing to book a break away.

“Of course, the safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew remains our highest priority. This is why we have implemented a number of measures enhancing safety at each part of the journey from disinfecting the aircraft to requiring customers and crew to wear masks. 

“These measures will remain in place for as long as is needed to ensure customers and crew are able to fly safely as the world continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Some airports have introduced temperature checks on passengers, although Health Secretary Matt Hancock said these had been inadequate in other countries.

Bristol Airport will start taking the temperatures of all departing passengers on a trial basis from July 1 – although a statement on its website adds: “We are following Pubic Health England (PHE) advice and currently temperature checks are not a required or effective way of keeping customers safe”.

Other measures introduced by the airport include the closure of its main terminal building to passengers with arrivals and departures taking place through its former terminal building, now known as Aviation House.

All passengers must also provide their own face masks or coverings and wear them in the terminal.

Social distancing signage, one-way systems and floor markings along with protective screens and extra contactless payment stations have been installed while only family groups or people travelling together will be able to use the lifts at the same time.

Car parking is available within walking distance of the terminal.

All airport staff are also wearing face coverings and enhanced cleaning measures are in place, with hand sanitiser units installed throughout the terminal. 

Passengers flying with easyJet are required to wear masks at all times – as are its cabin crew and ground crew – and the airline said initially there will be no onboard food service flights. The airline has also increased its aircraft cleaning and disinfecting programmes.

Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: “We are delighted to see easyJet flights return to Bristol Airport. The Belfast route opens up travel opportunities for essential key workers needing to easily access Northern Ireland using their local airport.

“We liaise closely with government, Department for Transport and Public Health England on the latest information and guidance for customers.

“Safety and security of our customers and staff is our key priority at all times and enhanced cleaning procedures and social-distancing policies are in place to keep our customers and colleagues safe, whilst providing these vital air links.

“We are working closely with easyJet to expand the routes available in the future from Bristol Airport when the time is right.”


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