Coronavirus: EasyJet to fly 75% of routes by August

·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
EasyJet aircraft are parked at the Berlin-Brandenburg Willy-Brandt Airport. (Michael Kappeler/Picture alliance via Getty)
EasyJet aircraft are parked at the Berlin-Brandenburg Willy-Brandt Airport. (Michael Kappeler/Picture alliance via Getty)

EasyJet (EZJ.L) will resume operating 75% of its routes by August, the airline said on Tuesday.

The budget airline confirmed plans to resume flying on half of its 1,022 routes by the end of July. 75% of routes will be back up and running by the following month. Flights will resume from all its main airports through the summer holiday season.

Flights be less frequent than normal, meaning the airline will operate only around 30% of its normal capacity between July and September.

EasyJet’s entire fleet has been grounded since March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier is due to resume a small number of flights from 15 June.

Flights will feature new enhanced safety measures intended to lower the risk of catching the novel coronavirus. These include more frequent cleaning, no food served on flights, and the requirement for all passengers and crew to wear face masks for the duration of journeys.

EasyJet will initially focus on domestic flights but chief executive Johan Lundgren said last month the company would “closely monitor the situation across Europe so that when more restrictions are lifted the schedule [we] will continue to build over time.”

Shares in EasyJet were trading 3.5% higher on Tuesday morning, amid a wider rally for travel stocks.

The UK Foreign Office is still advising citizens against all but non-essential travel outside of the UK. A number of European countries including Spain and Greece have also said they will not allow visitors from the UK until COVID-19 data here improves.

The UK recorded 111 new deaths and 1,570 lab-confirmed new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. An additional 445 new deaths linked to COVID-19 were also added to historic data.

Last week EasyJet announced plans to cut up to 4,500 jobs, saying it would likely take three years for the international travel market to recover from the pandemic.