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EasyJet to fly to seven destinations from Belfast International in June


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Passenger numbers have plummeted at Belfast International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic.

Passenger numbers have plummeted at Belfast International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic.

PA

EasyJet is to resume flights from a number of UK airports from June 15 (EasyJet/PA)

EasyJet is to resume flights from a number of UK airports from June 15 (EasyJet/PA)

Passenger numbers have plummeted at Belfast International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic.

EasyJet is to resume flights to from Belfast international on June 15.

The low-cost carrier announced that its initial schedule will involve mainly domestic flying in the UK and France.

Further routes will be confirmed “over the coming weeks” as demand increases and coronavirus lockdown measures across Europe are relaxed, the airline said.

Initially it will fly from Belfast to Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gatwick, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Graham Keddie, managing director of Belfast International Airport welcomed the move saying the airport would be working to have in place the necessary health measures for passengers.

“As Northern Ireland and the UK’s largest airline, it is a welcome and reassuring sign that easyJet remains committed to its local routes and keeping NI open and connected for business.

“We will be ready to accommodate these flights and our teams have been working round the clock to ensure that all measures will be in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all those who pass through the airport.

“Public safety is and must be the number one priority at all times and we will be working very closely with easyJet and the other operators who plan to commence operations soon to ensure we are all in a position to safely allow passengers back into the airport.”

Belfast International Airport has said staying open costs it £60,000 a day to ensure Northern Ireland remains open, its managing director has said.

While all passenger flights have been cancelled, it still maintains freight operations with around 16 flights a night.

The only international easyJet route from the UK will be between Gatwick and Nice, France.

As part of new safety and hygiene measures, passengers and crew will be required to wear masks in airports and on aircraft.

There will be no food sold during flights, enhanced cleaning of planes, and disinfection wipes and hand sanitiser made available to passengers.

A number of other airlines have announced tentative plans to ramp up their operations from the skeleton schedules currently being used due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ryanair plans to restore 40% of its flights from July 1, while British Airways is due to make a “meaningful return” to service in the same month.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “I am really pleased that we will be returning to flying in the middle of June.

“These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to gradually 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, while also ensuring we are operating efficiently and on routes that our customers want.

“The safety and wellbeing of our customers remains our highest priority, which is why we are implementing a number of measures to enhance safety at each part of the journey, from disinfecting the aircraft to requiring customers and crew to wear masks.

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EasyJet will introduce a number of measures to enhance safety (EasyJet/PA)

EasyJet will introduce a number of measures to enhance safety (EasyJet/PA)

EasyJet will introduce a number of measures to enhance safety (EasyJet/PA)

“These measures will remain in place for as long as is needed to ensure customers and crew are able to fly safely as the world continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

EasyJet admitted on Tuesday that nine million of its passengers had their email addresses and travel details exposed in a “highly sophisticated”.

An additional 2,200 customers also had their credit card details stolen.

The airline insisted there is “no evidence that any personal information of any nature has been misused”.

On Friday, easyJet shareholders will vote on whether to remove Mr Lundgren, chairman John Barton and two non-executives from their positions.

This is part of a bitter battle between founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and the company’s management.

Belfast Telegraph