Despite the UK’s continued lockdown measures showing little sign of budging dramatically in the coming weeks, budget-airline Wizz Air has given a positive nod towards the future of air travel. The low-cost carrier has unveiled six new routes to a variety of holiday destinations from the UK starting as early as mid-July.
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While the launch of new destination options might be a good sign for some holidaymakers, others might be questioning whether this is the responsible thing to do given the current climate.
However, Wizz Air remains certain that the new health and hygiene measures currently in place are more than enough to protect both passengers and crew from spreading the deadly virus.
Starting on June 16, Britons could find themselves jetting off to vacation favourites including Faro in Portugal, Zakynthos, Corfu, Rhodes and Heraklion in Greece, and Marrakesh in Morocco.
Portugal will be the first of the routes to launch, at a purse-friendly price of just £25.99 for a one-way ticket.
Meanwhile, routes to Greece will span July, ranging between £29.99 and £35.00 for a ticket, and finally, the Morocco flight will depart in October, costing £35.99 for a seat.
These low-cost tickets might be irresistible to many who are now faced with more stringent holiday budgets and come at a time when flight options are running low.
While others airlines have grounded huge swathes of their fleet, and fight for life support amid the crisis, Wizz Air has been working to implement new measures which will change the way passengers experience travel, but ultimately provide a level of protection never trialled before on an airline.
Bosses remain confident that these new protocols will be enough to ensure travel is a possibility.
As part of these new protocols, throughout the flight, both cabin crew and passengers are required to wear face masks, with cabin crew also required to wear gloves.
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Upon boarding, passengers will be handed individual disinfecting wipes for use in the area surrounding their seat, inflight magazines have been removed from seat pockets, and passengers are advised to make all onboard payments contactlessly.
Wizz Air UK’s aircraft are now also put through a rigorous cleaning regime after every flight, and further disinfected overnight.
Prior to boarding, passengers are also asked to check-in online and make any additional purchases, such as seat upgrades, priority boarding or checked luggage, online to ensure social distancing.
The airline recently released a new safety video, which will explain all of these new rules to passengers.
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Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK, said: “Although travel is currently restricted by government regulations, we are planning for the easing of restrictions as the situation improves and our customers are able to start travelling again.
“The Wizz team is excited that our network from London Luton will continue to grow to include many new summer and winter sun destinations and our new sanitising protocols will give our customers the confidence that they can safely rely on Wizz Air’s ultra-low-cost fares to visit these new and exciting destinations on-board Europe’s greenest fleet.
“As always, our primary concern is the health, safety and well-being of our passengers and crew, and our enhanced protective measures will ensure the most sanitary conditions possible.”
The new routes come just one week after the airline resumed services from London’s Luton airport, landing it’s first flight on Tuesday morning filled with over 100 passengers.
Despite this, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise Britons against all but essential travel for an “indefinite” period of time, causing concern for many.
Editor of Jetforce Journeys.com, Jill Starley-Grainger, told BBC Radio 5 it could be as late as 2022 before holidays return back to normal.
Ms Starley-Grainger said: “Number one, lots of people will have lost their jobs and a lot of money.
“They are not going to be able to afford to take the holidays.
“Number two, a lot of people will still be nervous.
“Until a vaccine is brought in or something really important happens people will still be nervous.”
She continued: “In my opinion, it is going to be the end of 2021 or 2022 at the earliest.
“It largely depends on a vaccine and if people have jobs.
“Those are the two major factors.”
Travellers with holiday plans in the late summer remain in a state of limbo as to whether these plans will go ahead.
However, industry experts urge Britons to hold onto their bookings and avoid cancelling as this could result in financial losses.
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis: “If you can’t cancel for free and you will lose all your money, don’t cancel.”
“Then leave it and if you can’t go hope that by that time the Foreign Office has said you can’t go so your travel insurance will be impacted.”
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