As we know, COVID-19 has quickly become a global issue, and with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against all non-essential travel overseas (17th March), millions of people have abandoned their travel plans or had their well-deserved holidays cancelled.
As the UK begins to ease lockdown and airlines start to resume their flights, the next big question is, ‘when will we be able to travel abroad again?’.
What’s the current situation with airlines?
Since the advice was issued, many airlines have altered their schedules and are no longer operating as normal. While some airlines have continued to operate emergency flights to repatriate UK citizens who are stuck abroad, and some have continued operating cargo flights, the majority of airlines are flying a skeleton operation, leaving the remaining airlines grounded.
Despite the FCO guidance remaining the same, a number of airlines are now discussing plans to resume travel in the near future.
Which airlines are resuming their flights?
Many consumers are still holding out hope that their summer holiday will go ahead, so to help you understand when you may be able to travel again, we have put together a list of some of the most popular airlines and their flight status, below (information correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change):
British Airways are advising their customers to keep their contact details up to date on their ‘manage my booking’ app so that if they need to get in touch with customers regarding their booking, they can. They are continuing to monitor the situation daily to take the best course of action for their staff and customers.
Although they are still operating some flights, they have adopted a flexible ‘book with confidence’ policy. This means that if you no longer wish to go on your trip, you’ll be able to change the destination or/and date of any new bookings made between 3 March 2020 and 31 May 2020, with a departure date in 2020.
For more information, visit their website.
Wizz Air has resumed some of its flights from Luton airport, but passengers have been reassured they will need to wear face masks to travel with them, as well as follow social distancing rules while boarding and throughout the flight.
The airline has also revealed that they will remove all onboard magazines from the cabin, to reduce the risk of infection spreading, as well as featuring a new safety video which will outline the new hygiene measures on board.
Wizz Air also offers compensation for cancelled flights, see their website for more information.
easyJet has grounded all flights indefinitely and is continuing to cancel flights on a seven-day rolling basis. The airline has not revealed any plans to restart commercial flights and they have also mentioned that this will depend on the national travel restrictions and customer demand to fly.
The airline is asking that you wait until your flight has been cancelled before requesting a refund. You can find more information here.
Jet2 has grounded all flights and cancelled all holidays until 17th June 2020 and you will be contacted, in order of departure date, regarding your booking. Jet2 also ask that if you have booked your trip through an online travel agent, that you contact them directly to discuss your booking.
Any flights or holidays after this date are still expected to go ahead, but you can visit their website for more information.
Since the Covid-19 flight restrictions, Ryanair has been operating a skeleton schedule of 30 daily flights, between the UK, Ireland and Europe, but they have plans to return to 40% of normal flight schedules from 1st July 2020. This means that Ryanair will be completing almost 1,000 flight routes per day and restart flying from most of its bases across Europe but on reduced frequencies.
They have also noted that there will be strict health and hygiene guidelines in place for both their passengers and their staff.
For more information, visit their website.
TUI has cancelled all holidays before 12th June, however, some types of TUI holidays i.e. TUI River Cruises, Marella Cruises, may be cancelled for an extended period. Visit their website for specific information regarding your holiday.
TUI is giving customers who have had their trip affected, refund credit with a 20% rebooking incentive, but they are also advising that if you cannot accept the refund credit and would like a full refund, then you should contact them once you have received this to discuss your options.
Please also note that it is very important to take out travel insurance for any trip or holiday you are planning. You should always check the terms and conditions of the policy you take out as many travel insurers are now excluding cancellation and curtailment claims relating to COVID-19. But, if you require emergency medical treatment whilst away, your policy will most likely cover this, providing you did not travel against the advice of the FCO, as you could risk invalidating your travel insurance policy.