Eastern Airways to relaunch 9 domestic UK routes from 22 June
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As the U.K. continues on its road to coronavirus recovery, the airline industry is also starting to reboot with Eastern Airways joining the small list of airlines restarting domestic routes in the U.K.
Eastern Airways, headquartered at Humberside Airport (HUY) in Lincolnshire, will be reinstating nine routes in June, followed by the return in July of the Teesside to London City (LCY) route for the first time in over a decade.
Related reading: UK regional airlines take over some of Flybe’s axed routes
“Eastern Airways has been working in conjunction with all our airport, aircraft cleaning and passenger care providers to ensure robust and appropriate measures are in-place throughout all aspects of your journey”, the airline said in a statement.
The airline’s Humberside (HUY) to Aberdeen (ABZ) route remained operational even during the peak of the crisis.
From Monday 22 June, the following routes will restart:
- Aberdeen (ABZ) ⇒ Newcastle (NCL)
- Aberdeen (ABZ) ⇒ Teesside (MME)
- Aberdeen (ABZ) ⇒ Southampton (SOU)
- Southampton (SOU) ⇒ Belfast City (BHD)
- Southampton (SOU) ⇒ Manchester (MAN)
- Teesside (MME) ⇒ Aberdeen (ABZ)
- Teesside (MME) ⇒ Belfast City (BHD)
And from Monday 29 June, there will be two more:
- Leeds Bradford (LBA) ⇒ Southampton (SOU)
- Teesside (MME) ⇒ Belfast City (BHD)
In a statement, the airline said the start dates of the airline’s other routes would be announced in the coming days. Included in that, the airline will provide an update about its inaugural flight from Teesside (MME) to Alicante (ALC), which was originally scheduled for 17 July.
It’s worth noting that these domestic flights won’t be affected by the government’s mandatory 14-day isolation, which takes effect 8 June.
In terms of enhanced safety procedures, the airline will be requiring passengers to wear face masks as well as “adhere to on-board hand sanitiser usage”. There will also be no onboard food and drink service.
British Airways also added the resumption of some domestic routes for the month of July.
Earlier this week, Loganair took its first step to getting its flying schedule restarted with the reintroduction of two of its domestic routes. The routes are both from Aberdeen (ABZ) and are to Birmingham (BHX) in the Midlands and Newcastle (NCL) in the north east.
Starting on Monday afternoon, flights to Birmingham (BHX) will operate four days per week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. In late August, the airline plans to increase this to two return flights per weekday as well as adding a Sunday service. Loganair took over the route from Flybe after Europe’s largest regional airline became one of the first victims of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Aberdeen (ABZ) to Newcastle (NCL) route will see one flight per weekday operating each afternoon plus Sundays until mid-July when the airline plans to have increased the schedule to twice daily.
For the safety of its passengers and crew, Loganair has introduced enhanced safety measures and advice. The steps include recommendations of social distancing in airports where “reasonably practical” and the wearing of face masks “where possible”. However, in both cases, Loganair isn’t requiring that passengers follow the advice, as many European airlines are doing.
Passengers are advised to use web or app check-in up to three hours before departure to reduce contact with staff at airports. If this isn’t possible, plastic screens have been installed at check-in desks. The airline has also introduced boarding in zones to provide as much as social distancing as possible, and PPE will be provided when entering the aircraft if you do not have your own. In an attempt to keep passengers as far apart as possible on the plane, the airline will be strategically allocating all seats.
Aberdeen, Birmingham and Newcastle airports all have guidelines in place to help to stop the spread and to protect staff and passengers alike. For example, Newcastle Airport is undergoing what it calls a “10-Point Plan”, which allows only passengers and crew into the airport terminal, only touchless car parking facilities available for use and more.
On Monday, Newcastle Airport also saw the return of its first international flight to Amsterdam (AMS), operated by KLM.
Other airports around the country have also introduced enhanced safety measures. The country’s largest, London Heathrow, is scanning body temperatures of arriving passengers at Terminal 2, for example.
Domestic flights within the U.K. are set to increase as the month of June goes on, with EasyJet relaunching several routes on 15 June, predominantly out of two of its hubs at London Gatwick (LGW) and Belfast (BFS). Then, as of 1 July, Ryanair plans on reinstating 40% of its schedule.
“With many businesses turning their thoughts to restarting work after the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s regional air connectivity will be more important than ever”, Loganair’s CEO Jonathan Hinkles said in a statement.
London’s City Airport also plans to resume domestic services from the end of June and some international departures from July.
During the period when coronavirus was at its peak, most airline operations were suspended. However, some regional and long-haul services remained in operation.
Featured image by Alan Wilson/Flickr
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