Travel

UK holidaymakers take off for the first time this year as easyJet relaunches leisure flights from the UK

Flights to Green list countries Portugal and Gibraltar depart today as the first international holiday and leisure flights take off

·       easyJet currently operates more seats on flights to European Green list destinations than any other UK operator and flies from more UK airports to Gibraltar than any other UK carrier, with over 1.6 million seats now available to green list destinations

·       Since the Government announcement, easyJet has put more than 105,000 extra seats on sale from the UK to Green list destinations to serve demand for travel this summer including a route from Newcastle to Faro, with fares from just £29.99* and holidays from just £269** per person

·       easyJet is providing more flexibility for flights and holidays than ever before through its Protection Promise, including fee free flight changes to any date or destination up to two hours before departure.

easyJet has today relaunched holiday and leisure flights from the UK to European destinations flying customers on long-awaited holidays or trips to visit family and friends. Throughout May the airline will operate 186 flights to Green list countries with the first Green list flight taking off from London Luton to Faro at 08:55 this morning shortly followed by a flight from Gatwick to Faro followed by more flights to Faro and a Gibraltar flight later today. 

The airline currently operates more seats to European Green list destinations than any other UK operator with more than 1.6 million seats now available to these destinations. easyJet and easyJet holidays saw UK bookings surge within hours of the UK Government announcement to reveal the initial ‘Green list’ and the airline has added more than 105,000 additional seats on sale across existing Green routes from the UK. The airline will also relaunch its route from Newcastle to Faro which will operate up to three times a week from 19July 2021, with both flights and holidays now available to book online at easyJet.com

During the lockdown period the fleet of aircraft have been maintained in a flight ready condition to enable the airline to resume flights at the right time and crew have received all necessary training.    

easyJet operates to Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel and Iceland which are on the Green list, and we continue to operate our flying schedule to Amber routes where we see demand amongst customers willing to take the quarantine as required on their return.

The only European country on the Red list is Turkey and as a result we have cancelled flights there until end of June  

As customers return to travel today, easyJet makes it more seamless for customers to understand and explore their travel options with all-new, easy-to-use online travel planning tool easyjet.com/en/covid-19-travel-hub. The travel map helps customers stay informed on the latest travel guidelines to and from the 35 countries on easyJet’s European network and filters by which are most open for travel. It includes obtaining real-time information when searching for popular destination types, including beaches, city breaks, outdoor getaways, and business travel.

 Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented:“We are delighted to be getting back to what we do best today and flying our customers on international leisure trips once again either for a break or to reunite with loved ones after many months apart. We know the pent up demand is there – we see it every time that restrictions are eased and so to cater for it we have put an extra 100,000 seats on sale from the UK to Green list destinations to help our customers take to the skies once again.  “We are absolutely committed to a safe restart and are confident this can happen while protecting both the health system and the success of the vaccine programme. We are disappointed that so few countries were put onto the green list as it is simply not justified by the data or the science and is inconsistent with the approach to reopen the domestic economy and so expect the number of countries on the Green list to grow next month to include many of our popular summer destinations. Meanwhile we have industry-leading flexible policies so customers can book with confidence and change their plans if they need to. We look forward to welcoming our customers back onboard in the coming days, weeks and months.” 
 

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick, CEO, said:

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our passengers back in larger numbers from today, now that we have some certainty and people can start thinking about reuniting with loved ones and friends, or having a long awaited, well-deserved holiday in the sun.

“It’s going to be a slow, steady start but we expect more destinations will be added to the Green list as soon as it is safe to do so and as people feel increasingly confident and excited about planning a trip this Summer.

“Passengers planning their journey can still expect the same level of enjoyment at the airport with bars, restaurants and shops open.   Passengers should however make sure they have all the right test or vaccination paperwork required for their destination, check that their passport is valid and that they fully understand what is expected at the UK border when they arrive back.” 

Through a recent study, by leading epidemiologists Dr Jeffrey Townsend and Dr Alison Galvani who are faculty at the Yale School of Public Health, the airline has shown that much more of Europe should be classed as Green on the government’s framework. The research shows that travel from several European countries would not affect the UK case rate but most importantly that travel to Europe would have very little impact on hospitalisations in the UK. This is because the success of the UK vaccine roll-out has broken the link between cases and hospitalisation. It is the same success that allows for the domestic reopening. 

All easyJet customers will now be able to change their flights this summer without a change fee, at any time up to two hours before departure, or request a voucher providing even more last-minute flexibility. Unlike other airlines, there are no restrictions on dates or destination; customers can transfer to any flights currently on sale up to the end of September 2022, and to any other destination on the airline’s network which spans 35 countries across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. This means that if some travel restrictions are impacting their destination country, such as self-isolation in destination or on return to the UK, customers can easily change their trip to another country on easyJet’s network. Plus, should a mandatory hotel quarantine impact a customer’s travel destination this summer, customers can now request a refund for their flight within four weeks before departure if the restriction is still in place, even if their flights are still operating.

For package holiday bookings, under its existing Protection Promise easyJet holidays customers only need to pay their balance 28 days before travel, and if they need to make any changes or simply change their mind customers can cancel 28 days or more before departure and receive their deposit back as easyJet holidays credit with any further payments refunded back to the original payment method. easyJet holidays has now enhanced it Covid commitments in line with the traffic light system for any customers due to travel this summer up to 30 September 2021. It means should a holiday destination feature on the ‘amber’ list, customers can make fee free changes within 28 days all the way up to 24 hours before travel. Or should a destination be on the ‘red’ list, holidays here won’t go ahead, and as the planned departure date gets closer, customers can make fee free changes within 28 days or easyJet holidays will cancel the holiday no later than seven days before travel with customers given a full refund.

 easyJet has partnered with approved testing firms across Europe so that customers can get access to convenient and affordable testing, including PCR tests from £60 if required for their trip when they book flights and holidays at easyJet.com. The airline has also launched a new travel insurance policy which includes COVID-19 cover as standard. The new COVID-19 travel insurance will cover customers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 ahead of a trip, providing the necessary rearrangements or refunds, as well as cover to customers for any required medical care if diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip. Customers who are unable to return home due to being diagnosed with the virus are also covered for additional accommodation, necessary medical assistance, and the cost of returning home safely.

The safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew remains easyJet’s highest priority and the airline continues to have a number of biological safety measures in place onboard in line with guidance from the relevant authorities. This includes daily enhanced cabin disinfection effective in protecting against coronavirus for at least 24 hours and mandatory mask wearing for customers and crew. All easyJet aircraft are already fitted with HEPA filters, similar to those used in hospitals, which filter 99.97% of airborne contaminants in the cabin, including viruses and bacteria.

For more information and to book visit easyJet.com or easyjet.com/en/holidays