Most airlines around the world have been grounded since March as COVID-19 shut down non-essential travel. But as widespread travel restrictions begin to lift, some are slowly resuming services this summer albeit with limited capacity and new rules around social distancing and sanitation.
American Airlines is resuming transatlantic services with flights from Dallas to Madrid in May and flights to Dublin, London and Athens from Chicago in June. Additionally, the airline will resume services from Miami to Lima, Quito, Guayaquil, Santiago and Sao Paulo before June.
From June, Delta plans to revive a number of major transatlantic and Caribbean routes, including daily flights to Amsterdam, Cancun and Mexico City. In a statement, the airline confirmed it will also resume its Shanghai service on 1 June from both its Seattle and Detroit hubs.
EasyJet will resume a "small number" of routes from mid-June to meet customer demand, according to the BBC. It will mainly service domestic routes within France and the UK, about 189 per week on average, as well as a small number of flights between Portugal, Switzerland and Spain.
Etihad has been working with the government of UAE to resume services, stating on their website: "our aim is to gradually return to a fuller schedule as soon as it is safe for us to do so." Weekly services from Melbourne to London will resume on 21 May, and Etihad plans to add new services to Belgrade, Dublin, Geneva, Milan, Paris and Toronto. The airline will continue to operate its repatriation flights until 15 June.
The German carrier has published its summer schedule announced it will "significantly" expand its services in June with Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong, Dubai, Tel Aviv and Mumbai added as destinations. It hopes to offer 1800 round-trips per week to more than 130 destinations. In Europe, the airline will resume services to popular summer destinations such as Majorca, Nice, Budapest, Dublin and Krakow.
Korean Air hopes to have services available on 32 international routes by June, including flights to Washington DC, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Frankfurt, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur.
Qatar has maintained flights to at least 30 destinations during the coronavirus crisis, according to Forbes, including Dallas and Chicago. It will gradually reinstate services to 80 destinations by the end of June, including flights to London, Dublin, Manchester and Edinburgh.
The Portuguese carrier will resume a number of international flights from 18 May including Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, London, Madrid, Newark and Ponta Delgada (Azores). More destinations are expected to be added by late summer.
Turkish Airlines is planning to resume flights to 19 countries in June after its ban on passenger flights lifts on 28 May, according to Reuters. The airline hopes to increase capacity to 99 countries by September.
The Chicago-based carrier suspended 90% of its services in April but continued to operate limited European and South American flights. Now the airline hopes to resume the Newark to Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo services in June, as well as the San Francisco to Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Frankfurt services. More routes are expected to follow.
The low-cost airline has announced five new routes for summer 2020, according to the Guardian. From July it will fly from London (Luton) to Faro, Portugal and to Corfu, Heraklion, Rhodes and Zakynthos in Greece. Additionally, Wizz will launch operations in Abu Dhabi for the first time, connecting the UAE hub to Budapest (Hungary) and Bucharest (Romania) in June and Cluj-Napoca (Romanie) Katowice (Poland) and Sofia (Bulgaria) in September. "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," Owain Jones, Wizz's managing director said.
This article was first published on 7 May and updated on 21 May, 2020.
Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.