The low-cost airline expects to fly about 78% and 92% of the routes serving Portugal in these two summer months.
Low-cost airline EasyJet on Tuesday said that it will resume three-quarters of its operation in July and August, starting with about 50 destinations from Portugal that will depend on the response of demand and the progress of the pandemic.
In a statement to Lusa, the airline’s general director for Portugal, José Lopes, explained that the goal is to try to stimulate demand in July and August, the peak of the summer operation, with the launch of a promotional fare for travel between July 1 and October 31 2020 and, on the other hand, with the implementation of safety measures that will be put in place to resume operations.
Easyjet will operate 50 destinations in July, and 59 in August, to and from Portugal, from its four main airports (Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Funchal).
EasyJet expects to fly about 78% and 92% of the routes serving Portugal in these two summer months.
These destinations will, however, operate with fewer flights than usual, he said.
“It is a scenario in a demand reaction perspective. At any time, if demand does not react as we expect, or if there is a change in the level of restrictions implemented in the various markets or even some change in the level of the pandemic itself, we may logically have to readjust,” the company’s general manager in Portugal explained to Lusa.
Asked how this resumption of the operation will be managed in terms of human resources, taking into account that in Portugal the low-cost airline currently has 340 workers, 99% of whom were on temporary layoff until the end of June, José Lopes said they are still evaluating, but argued that the layoff measure should be extended until the end of the winter operation.
Last week, the airline announced a global fleet reduction of 51 aircraft by the end of 2021, which will lead to a 30% overall reduction in staff.
In Portugal, the company will wait until the end of the month to decide how to implement the job cuts, but José Lopes said that the reality of each country and each department will always be considered.
Globally, easyJet plans to fly 50% of its 1,022 routes in July and 75% in August, although with a lower frequency of flights, equivalent to about 30% of normal capacity from July to September.
The company will begin flights on 15 June and will implement a series of measures drawn up in conjunction with national and international aviation authorities to help ensure the safety and well-being of passengers and crew.
These measures include cleaning and disinfecting aircraft and requiring that passengers and crew wear masks.
Customers will be able to practice social distancing at airports, at gates and during boarding.
Onboard, and whenever possible, the crew will invite passengers to distance themselves from customers who do not belong to the same group when seats are available.
EasyJet also states that it will continue to work with all relevant national authorities to assess, review and adapt necessary long-term measures.