surinenglish

Airlines include the Costa del Sol on their new summer schedules

Aircraft grounded at Malaga airport due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Aircraft grounded at Malaga airport due to the Covid-19 crisis. / ÑITO SALAS
  • Ryanair and Jet2.com are among the airlines that have already released schedules for July

Some of Europe's biggest airlines have announced plans of how they plan to take off again after the coronavirus grounded their entire fleets in March.

The companies' finances have been hit by the crisis and giants such as Air France and Lufthansa have asked for support from their respective governments to be able to keep operating. Meanwhile Easyjet has announced plans this week to reduce its staff by 30 per cent.

The "new normal", when it arrives, is going to be very different to the pre-coronavirus situation, with experts from the aviation industry saying that levels of 2019 will not be recovered before 2023.

Most airlines will be returning to work this summer with reduced operations, which will be stepped up gradually.

The airline operating the most flights at Malaga Airport before he crisis was Ryanair, which already announced that it would start flying to the Costa del Sol from 1 July. Its operations would be around 40% fewer than originally planned, but the airline has opted to keep as many different routes open as possible and reduce frequency. This summer Ryanair has said it will be operated some 1,000 flights a day around Europe, where pre-crisis its daily figure was 2,400.

Vueling is currently finalising its plans which it hopes to release over the next few days. Vueling is one of the few airlines that has continued running some flights from Malaga during the crisis, mainly to Barcelona and Bilbao.

Jet2.com, the fifth most important airline in terms of volume of passengers in Malaga before the crisis, has announced that flights will be resuming operations between the Costa del Sol and nine British airports from July. These are Leeds-Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, London Stansted, East Midlands, Belfast, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Margarita del Cid, CEO of Turismo Costa del Sol said this week that the number of internet searches for flights to the Costa del Sol had increased in May compared to last year, especially from Germany and Russia, and to a lesser extent, the rest of Spain.

"Over the coming weeks we'll have to see whether these searches turn into bookings," she said.

Meanwhile Malaga Airport is preparing to reopen in the "new normal".

Screens have already been installed at check-in desks and markers are being stuck to the floor near boarding gates to ensure social distancing.