The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of life across the world – but one of the worst affected industries is that of international travel.
While countries across Europe which are past the peak of the outbreak are slowly re-opening their borders to other countries, restrictions remain in place in much of the world, with the Foreign Office still advising UK citizens to avoid all but ‘essential’ global travel.
That said, some airlines are slowly resuming operations – albeit with new safety measures in place – so if you do plan to fly in the near future, who can you go with and where can you go?
Here’s what you need to know…
Which airlines can you currently fly with?
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EasyJet were among the first airlines to restart services this week, with new safety measures in place.
These include additional cleaning of the cabins and a daily disinfection process, passengers and crew being required to wear masks onboard and seating at a distance from others were seats are available.
Food and shopping services onboard are also not currently available, while customers will be able to check in their own hold luggage, and will be asked to present and scan their own boarding cards.
In terms of other airlines, WizzAir resumed some of its routes back in May – becoming one of the first airlines to do so – once again with enhanced safety measures in place.
Ryanair has also revealed plans to operate 1,000 flights a day by July – returning to two-fifths of its normal flight schedule.
Similarly, British Airways has said it hopes to resume 50 per cent of its services by July, while Norwegian will be resuming flights from 1 July.
Likewise, Virgin Atlantic has released plans to resume flights in the second half of 2020 – along with a flight programme for summer 2021 with 24 destinations.
If you plan to fly to another destination with another airline, it’s worth checking their website to see whether any flights are still taking off from the UK, as some may still have some limited services available.
Where can you currently fly to?
EasyJet is currently flying only domestic routes within the UK as well as to destinations in France.
But flights will be at a lower frequency than normal, meaning the airline will operate at around 30% of its normal capacity between July and September.
WizzAir began flights in May to Budapest, Belgrade, Kosice, Bratislava, Tenerife, Tel Aviv and Sofia – with safety measures including encouraging passengers to check in online, wearing masks onboard, enhanced cleaning of aircraft and contactless payments encouraged on flights.
Norwegian has anounced that it will operate routes from Gatwick and Edinburgh to Oslo and Copenhagen from 1 July – while other airlines have yet to announce which routes will be resuming.
All of this will of course also be dependent on travel restrictions and quarantine rules in other countries – with arrivals into the UK currently having to self-isolate for two weeks after landing, potentially putting paid to foreign holiday plans for the time being.
Chairman of the TRIP Group (Travel Risk incident Prevention) and travel risk expert Lloyd Figgins told Metro.co.uk: ‘Flights will not resume until the government advice against all but essential travel has changed.
‘Even then, there will likely be restrictions on the volume of people allowed to travel. All flights will be dependent on the destination country being wiling to accept visitors from the UK.’