A number of European Airlines return to the skies today after a long period of grounding.
Most notably for the UK, EasyJet have made their first flight since 30th March. Flight U2883 departed Gatwick Airport bound for Glasgow six minutes ahead of schedule at 06:54am. It arrived into Glasgow just over an hour later at 07:58, well over 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
The flight was operated by G-EZRT, a relitively new Airbus A320 delivered to the airline just over 2 years ago.
Onboard the flight, and broadcasting live via FaceTime to breakfast TV was Simon Calder of The Independent. From giving a brief overview of the cabin shortly before heading out, the flight looked to be somewhat full. Although it was far from completely sold out.
An interetsing point that the presenters of the show made was that nobody was social distancing on the aircraft. I’m firmly of the opinion that this is virtually impossible on nearly all forms of public transport. But moreso onboard an aircraft. During the past couple of months, there have been a few pictures posted on social media on board flights taken with other airlines. These flights looked to be full, and there was outrage that any social distancing was being ignored. However, my personal opinion on the matter is that if you’re that worried, find another way to reach your destination. Or postpone.
I have a number of flights scheduled for the end of July. I will make my best efforts to stay 2m (or whatever it is by then) away from people, but I also undertand that it won’t always be possible. Can the airlines do more? At the moment, I couldn’t comment, as I have not set foot in an airport since March. However, I suspect they are making their best efforts.
At least three other airlines return to the European skies today too. First off was Austrian. Flight OS111 departed from Vienna, heading for Munich a few minutes behind schedule at 06:37. The flight made up time en-route and arrived into Munich a few minutes ahead of schedule.
Austrian Airlines have been grounded since the middle of March. As it turned out, I was on one of the final flights just a few days before they ceased operations.
Another airline restarting operations today is Brussels Airlines. After being grounded for 12 weeks, flight SN3721 left Brussels at 08:51 local, bound for Madrid. Following this, a number of other flights departed, heading for Rome, Berlin and Marseille.
Finally, a TUI 737-800 depated from Dusseldorf, bound for Palma. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly for this flight however. This one left 45 minutes behind schedule. As at the time of writing, it’s due to arrive just over 15 minutes late.