The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over and governments continue to expand travel restrictions and bans, allowing only essential travel. Meanwhile, everyone is hoping that the coronavirus crisis will soon end and things will get back to normal - as much as this is possible.
Not all countries have opened their borders for tourists yet, but the airline industry is starting to make small preparations for the 2021 summer season. Some major airlines have presented their flight resumption schedules, although they will still be at reduced capacities. All airlines assure passengers they’ll be welcomed to strictly safe and hygienic environments.
Will it be possible to fly this summer and where? We are all impatiently waiting for the answer.
Let’s see which airlines resume flights and when.
The following Europe-based airlines plan to resume flights and provide new routes.
Lufthansa group will be expanding, as well as resuming 90% of its short and medium-haul routes and 70% of the long-haul ones.
Its plans include:
- about 90 flights a week to Asia,
- more than 45 to the Middle East,
- more than 40 to Africa.
There will also be some summer vacation routes for 2021.
- From March 29: 3 weekly flights from Frankfurt to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
- From March 31: 2 flights a week from Frankfurt to Mombasa (Kenya) with onward flights to Zanzibar (Tanzania).
Additionally, Mauritius and Malé in the Maldives will be on this summer’s schedule.
Moreover, certain key transatlantic routes are being reinstated in the summer schedule this year.
- Swiss resumes service on the Miami – Zurich route from March 28, with up to 5 times a week.
- Up to 7 weekly services between Boston – Zurich from May 1 onwards.
- Up to 5 weekly flights from Los Angeles – Zurich from May 2.
- In May, Austrian Airlines will once again be flying 3 times a week to New York’s JFK and Montreal, both to and from Vienna.
According to Lufthansa, the air onboard is perfectly clean, thanks to its use of hospital-grade filters. Passengers are required to wear masks throughout flights.
The Royal Dutch Airlines experienced a restrictive winter season in 2020, as the airline struggled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, similarly to many others. Intercontinentally, KLM served 80% of its destinations at 60% capacity.
The airline has taken measures to keep cabins safe for passengers. Among these measures are seat blocking, offering simplified catering to ensure minimum contact, and mouth caps and protective gloves worn by the crew members. Once again, all passengers are required to wear masks during boarding and flying.
Ryanair has announced 3 new international routes. It also plans to add more routes between the UK and Greece for this summer starting from July 1. There will be 2 weekly flights, as follows:
- Preveza – Stansted
- Stansted – Zakynthos
- Stansted – Santorini
In addition, there is going to be a new Birmingham to Poznan route from July 3 onwards, which will be flying twice a week. This is all part of Ryanair’s UK Summer 2021 schedule.
Naturally, all passengers and staff are required to wear masks for the entire flight. An air filtering system is also being utilized to maintain the cabin’s air clean. Moreover, all aircraft are professionally cleaned and disinfected every day. This ensures perfect hygiene for more than 24 hours.
Indeed, the current situation is confusing all consumers. Should you book a flight right now or should you wait some more? This is the million-dollar question.
Everyone is itching to travel but there are still some uncertainties and regulations to keep in mind. Airlines are urging us to book with confidence and get on the plane, enticing us with cheap deals, but how can we do that when they might be selling tickets to places still in lockdown?
What’s more, not all potential passengers are getting a reply on social media when trying to reach the airlines, and others are still waiting for a refund for cancelled flights.
Besides, now customers might not be eligible for a refund if they cancel a booking.
However, as long as you research carefully the travel restrictions and requirements of your destination, you should be fine. Some passengers prefer to book in the last possible moment so that they’re sure that their travel plans won’t be suddenly changed by new restrictions.
Different countries and destinations are slowly opening their borders with various rules and on different timescales. The travel industry is hoping to recover somewhat this summer.
It is planned for airlines to resume passenger flights as much as possible. It is now possible to book your holiday to some destination but make sure what your home country and your potential destination’s regulations are in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
No matter whether you are booking a domestic flight or an international flight, always check the latest government updates first so that you don’t take any risks with your health or savings.