easyJet Looks To Mid-June Flight Resumption

easyJet is eyeing a mid-June flight resumption. The airline’s fleet has been grounded since March 24th as a…

easyJet Looks To Mid-June Flight Resumption

easyJet is eyeing a mid-June flight resumption. The airline’s fleet has been grounded since March 24th as a result of the current crisis. The low-cost carrier’s return to the skies would come with the addition of mandatory face masks.

easyJet has announced it will resume services next month. Photo: easyJet

Three months ago, nobody would have expected the industry to be forced to react to the pandemic in the way it has. Yet here we are. European low-cost carrier easyJet has so far had its operations suspended for two months. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, with the announcement that flights will resume from June 15th.

Flight resumption

As mentioned, easyJet is looking to resume operations from June 15th. However, unlike Ryanair’s 1,000 flights per day from July 1st, easyJet will initially focus on a much-reduced network, at least for the time being.

easyJet will mainly focus on a smaller network of mostly domestic flights to start with from 21 destinations. Operating domestic flights would allow the airline to side-step quarantine regulations.

easyJet, Flight Resumption, June 15th
The airline will ensure aircraft are regularly disinfected. Photo: easyJet

However, the EU has set June 15th as the date that it intends to reduce the current restrictions on travel between member countries. If easyJet’s soft, mostly domestic relaunch goes well, it will allow the airline to prepare to reopen international routes.

While demand is currently beyond low, there exists a possibility that once restrictions are relaxed, people will want to travel to see family and friends, and perhaps even begin to take holidays. Of course, this won’t completely offset the current decline in demand.

New restrictions

Like many other European airlines, easyJet will add compulsory mask-wearing as a policy onboard its aircraft. It seems that easyJet will follow the example set by Lufthansa and Ryanair and not implement a social distancing policy. The airline did, however, mention that crew would seat passengers apart where possible.

easyJet released a new video for passengers outlining its new travel policies:

If easyJet were to implement a social distancing policy, it would put the airline at a significant disadvantage to its competitors from an economic point of view. It would either lose revenue or need to hike flight prices. IATA recommends that airlines don’t implement social distancing policies.

Initially, the low-cost carrier won’t offer any buy onboard selections. Instead, extra sanitary equipment such as masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be carried in case passengers need them.

easyJet, Flight Resumption, June 15th
Passengers are asked to observe social distancing in the terminal. Photo: easyJet

In a press release, easyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren commented on the news, saying:

“These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to resume operations. We will continue to closely monitor the situation across Europe so that when more restrictions are lifted the schedule will continue to build over time to match demand.”

Are you happy to see orange Airbus A320s returning to the skies? Where would you like to fly first with easyJet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Where Did Air France Operate Its Airbus A380s?

Yesterday, Air France announced that it would be retiring its Airbus A380 fleet with immediate effect. While the…

Where Did Air France Operate Its Airbus A380s?

Yesterday, Air France announced that it would be retiring its Airbus A380 fleet with immediate effect. While the news was somewhat expected due to current sentiment towards the superjumbo during financially difficult times, it was the end of an era for the airline. We take a look at where Air France flew its A380s and what it plans to do next.

Where did Air France fly its A380s? Photo: Air France

A380s heading into retirement

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of discussion about the A380. What will happen to the aircraft after the coronavirus pandemic? How will airlines manage the cost? Where are they being stored?

Just yesterday, Air France became the latest airline to sacrifice the A380 in the interest of capital gain. Although the airline indicted poor efficiency and high CO2 emissions levels for the retirement, Air France may have also just improved its financial prospects.

The carrier had nine A380s until yesterday, five of which it owned and four leased. (It had begun the year with 10 but retired its first aircraft just two days into 2020.) The aircraft operated out of Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG), which had capacity at its Satellite 4 terminal to take six A380 aircraft at a time.

Air France flying
Air France used its A380s to fly to three continents. Photo: Air France

According to iflyA380, this dedicated long-haul terminal saw the arrival and departure of Air France’s A380s to and from:

  • North America: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Mexico, New York, San Francisco, and Washington.
  • Africa: Johannesburg.
  • Asia: Shanghai.

According to Air France, the aircraft was also scheduled to fly to:

  • Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • Hong Kong.

What happens now?

No doubt, it will be sad for some to come to terms with the fact that they will never fly the A380 with Air France again. Air France signed as a customer back in 2001 and was the first airline in Europe to operate the superjumbo jet.

However, the cost of maintaining the aircraft was just too much, and Air France does have an innovative replacement imminent.

For a few years now, the airline has signaled that the A380 may not be the best choice for the carrier. In 2018, the CEO announced that a 2021 retirement was on the cards due to cost and poor efficiency. However, Air France had been hopeful at that time. It was planning to retrofit some of its A380 cabins.

Despite that, the following year, the airline revised its retirement of the A380 owing to how expensive a cabin retrofit would be. Knowing that the A380 was on its way out, Air France has been preparing to replace the aircraft with A350-900s.

Air France A350-900 side view
A350-900s will replace the A380. Photo: Air France

A350s will replace the A380

With newer technology, better fuel efficiency, and an enhanced range, the A350 is a clear winner to replace the A380. They also cost significantly less to buy and less to maintain. Added to that, the financial loss from not being able to fill the aircraft is mitigated by fewer seats. The A350-900 has nearly half the capacity (315 seats) of the A380-800 (525 seats).

Air France A350-900 cabin
Less seating is just one of the cost-effective benefits of the A350-900. Photo: Air France

Before it cut a significant proportion of its services due to the coronavirus, Air France already had a summer schedule for the A350-900. It plans to fly the aircraft between:

  • Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • Atlanta, United States
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Bamako, Mali
  • Boston, United States, and
  • Washington, United States.

Are you sad to see Air France’s A380 go? Did you fly the aircraft on any of these routes? Let us know in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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