The Gibraltar Government has announced that EasyJet plans to resume its Gibraltar Airport services next week. Announcing the decision, minister for tourism Vijay Daryanani said, “I’m delighted that EasyJet will resume some flying to Gibraltar on 20 July from Manchester and from London Gatwick on 25 July. We are very pleased to welcome the airline back to the Rock, along with all its customers, and look forward to further flying resuming throughout the summer.”
In a further official announcement this week, the government advised that, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Gibraltar Airport had adopted a series of measures based on guidance and advice provided by Public Health Gibraltar and some aviation-specific guidelines provided by Public Health England.
These measures include the provision of hand sanitiser gels, the addition of Plexiglas screens, physical distancing mitigation, extra cleaning of public areas and trolleys, and the provision of face shields for staff.
“As the aviation industry starts to return to some form of normality, its different elements are beginning to indicate what the future of air travel will look like, and the industry has now issued various recommendations and guidelines for individual airports to adopt as best practice.
“In addition to existing processes, Gibraltar Airport will shortly be introducing further measures and will be issuing a ‘Guidance for Travellers’ information sheet to assist passengers in planning their journeys and know what to expect when catching a flight.”
According to the government, the main new measures will be:
- Passengers departing Gibraltar will have to wear a face covering/face mask when they enter the terminal.
- Those individuals in the “vulnerable cohort” will have their own search area to avoid the necessity of queueing in “Central Search”.
- There will be limited areas for “Meeters and Greeters”, where the recommendation is that arriving passengers are met outside the terminal.
“Gibraltar Airport will continue working to ensure the safety of passengers and our staff, and will always follow any guidelines, recommendations and directives to keep flying from Gibraltar as positive an experience as possible. This will ensure that we maintain the confidence of our passengers and partner airlines who will assist in the opening up Gibraltar and its economy.”
New Health and Safety Measures by EasyJet
In a press release earlier this summer, EasyJet reported it would resume flying to almost three-quarters of its route network by August, and launched a summer sale of more than one million flights to holiday destinations across Europe “on offer from only £29.99 for travel between 1 July and 31 October 2020”.
The airline company also outlined its new health and safety measures…
Additional cleaning and disinfection procedures for aircraft cabins on top of existing daily aircraft cleaning schedule. “Every aircraft will be subject to a daily disinfection process which provides surface protection from viruses that lasts for at least 24 hours.”
All passengers and crew will be required to wear masks onboard at all times, and all flights will be equipped with spare sanitary equipment including masks, gloves and hand sanitiser to ensure these are available to customers and crew at all times onboard, if required. “EasyJet’s aircraft are already fitted with state-of-art filtration technology. High-efficiency particle-arresting filters filter 99.97 per cent of airborne contaminants in the cabin, including viruses and bacteria. These filters are the same as those used in hospitals and through them the cabin air gets replaced every three to four minutes.”
Customers will be able to use an automated bag drop to check in their hold luggage, and screens will be in place at check-in desks and at airports where auto bag drop is not available. Ground crew and cabin will not handle any customer documents during boarding, so customers will be asked to present and scan their own documents. “EasyJet already encourages all customers to check in online and download their boarding pass onto their smart phone or to print their own boarding passes before arriving at the airport. Our ground crew will also wear gloves and masks at all times when transporting customer luggage to and from the aircraft.”
Customers will be able to practise social distancing in the airports, at gates and during boarding. “Onboard, and where possible, crew will invite customers to sit at distance from customers not in their party where seats are available. EasyJet will continue to work with the relevant national authorities to review and assess what measures are required in the longer term.”
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