That’s a good question. I also ask myself this question. Since I have to be up to date on what’s going on in the air industry as this is crucial for my work, I had to do a little research on where the airlines will start their operations, which countries will reopen and what will change on board and airports. Let me share with you the result of the latest answers to the question when will airlines start flying again?

Crucial Industry For Business

There are basically only two types of people who fly. Those who like to fly and take vacations in exotic locations, see historical sites or visit relatives. Then there is the group of people who have to fly.

Whether it is for business or other responsibilities, alternative forms of travel just do not cut it. Air travel offers convenience, helps meet deadlines, and simply gets people to their destinations a lot faster and a lot more comfortably.

The big question in these people’s minds is when will airlines start flying again? To find out which airlines are planning to resume their schedules, just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you need to know about.

When Will Airlines Start Flying Again in America?

It is not possible to cover every airline in the world and when they plan to start flying again. The airlines mentioned here and in other sections are examples to give you an idea when you can start planning your vacations or business trips again.

  1. American Airlines – has suspended about 60% of its flights from what they scheduled last year. But sometime in June, they hope to restore limited service to a variety of American and international services.
  2. Delta – has cut 85% of its domestic and international schedule but the good news is that it has already resumed operations and many of their planes are back in the sky. They hope to add more flights throughout the summer
  3. Southwest – look for limited-service resuming June 7th. The schedule is not very large and many domestic cities probably will not be served by this airline until a later date. Check with your local Southwest ticket agent to find out more details as they are announced
  4. United Airlines – did not totally shut down during the pandemic offering limited service through the past couple of months when other domestic carriers stopped flying. June will see an increase in flights
  5. Spirit & Jet Blue – These two airlines may be different companies but they have maintained a flight schedule throughout the pandemic. They may return to a fuller schedule in mid or late June. Nothing has been set in stone here and Jet Blue has postponed its new London route till 2021.

When Will Airlines Start With International Connections Again?

  1. British Airways – has scheduled a return to service for July and that will only be at 50% capacity. The company doe snot thinks full capacity will be reached for almost 3 years.
  2. Etihad Airlines – has had one weekly flight from Melbourne to London since May 21st They are looking to expand operations in June and coming months
  3. Korean Air – June seems to be the target month for most airlines. This Korean airline hopes to have 32 international routes going by the beginning of this month
  4. Qatar Airlines – has operated on a limited schedule throughout the pandemic offering 30 destinations. They hope to go to 80 by the end of June.
  5. Tap Portugal – began service May 18th and hopes to expand that service by late summer. This airline focuses mostly on European cities
  6. Turkish Airlines – is also waiting for June to arrive. It plans to service 19 countries around the world and September they hope to add 80 countries to that list
  7. Wizz Air – is a discount airline that hopes to make an impact with the limited services offered by its full-service competitors. They want to have 5 routes up and going by July
  8. Emirates Airline – has been running a skeleton schedule throughout the restricted months and hopes to return to a full schedule in July
  9. TUI – made an announcement recently that it will resume its regular schedule on June 17th.
  10. Jet 2 – Has also decided to use June 17th as their restart date.
  11. Ryanair – is another airline that will use June 17th as a return to their regular schedule. They have been running 10% of their schedule since the restrictions were implemented.

Airlines That May Need Help

The restrictions have not been kind to every airline operating in the world. Some are saying that they will need government bailouts to keep them in the air after all the restrictions have been lifted. The answer to the question when will airlines start flying again is mentioned under each airline listed here.

  • Lufthansa – will start flying again from mid-June but they are asking the German government for 9 billion Euros to keep them flying. They are asking to repay the loan by 2023
  • Virgin Air – Has asked both the Australian and British governments for a bailout. The Australian company collapsed when their government turned the request down. There is no announced restart of the Virgin schedule as it awaits news about receiving aid.
  • Kulula Airlines – has stated that it will not begin operation again until around November of this year. The announcement also included the statement that it needed cash investment to help it return to servicing the public
  • Multiple American airlines asking for a bailout- the ones involved in this is not exactly known at this nor is it known if they will receive help

These three sections give you a very good idea when will airlines will start flying again. As you can see June is the go-to month and you should check with your favorite airline if your destination is on that reopening plan.

The airlines are not flying to every city like they used to so you may have to change your travel plans to meet with the limited flight plans.

States Opening Up to Air Travel

The question is not when will airlines start flying again as airline companies have to wait for the different states and countries to open their borders to aircraft and air travel.

Here are some of the states that should be open:

  • Florida and Georgia are looking at early and mid-June respectively While South Carolina opened its borders in mid-May. The midwest states did not close their borders as Wyoming and South Dakota stayed open for business throughout the pandemic.
  • Maryland has opened up but Texas still has a mandatory 14 quarantine for tourists who come from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, and California. The one for Louisiana has expired.
  • The states to avoid are New York, Hawaii, and Maine. The last one still has a 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors at least through the summer. Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine order is in effect till the end of June. You may be able to fly there but look forward to two weeks in a hotel room.

Check with the state you want to travel to in order to find the specific details that will affect your trip. Some more states are opening up but there may be some requirements put in place to govern tourist and visitor behavior.

What About Vacation? Which Countries are Opening Up

Summer is coming and soon we will think not only about business travels. It’s crucial to have borders open to pass through and start your summer vacation – let’s see how the borders opening will look around the world.

To start this off, Slovenia has allowed its main airport to start receiving airplane traffic. The country hopes to have all airlines flying into their country by July. Canada has continued to block cruises till Oct 31 but no word on their air traffic yet.

Australia and New Zealand began opening their countries back in early May. Australia is doing a 3 step plan and it is not sure which step they are in at the moment. Spain will open fully without quarantine July 1st.

The same goes for Greece as international flights will be accepted on July 1st. Cyprus opens June 9th and Italy should have opened its doors June 3rd. Germany is limiting its opening to 3 countries initially on June 15th when the rest of the world gets to visit is unknown at this time.

For other European countries, you should check with their travel bureaus to see when you can visit this summer. Some Asian countries are beginning to relax their international travel rules as the Philippines is getting ready to accept some international airlines and their passengers.

Each country is making its own determination as some like China and South Korea have seen the rise of the second wave of infections. Again it is best to contact the travel and visitors bureaus in the country you want to go to and see what restrictions they have.

How Will Air Travel Look When it Reopens

This is a good question. There are a lot of people who are afraid of contracting the COVID-19 disease and hope that airlines take precautionary measures to protect them once they get on board those planes.

Airlines are listening to these people and it looks like there will be changes to air travel. Here are some changes either being considered or implemented by some of the returning airlines. Not all companies will put these measures into action:

  • No middle seat occupancy – even though this strategy has been slammed by some airline executives, there are some airlines blocking the middle seat. If you want to sit together with your spouse then you may have to fly a different airline
  • Pausing upgrades – this doesn’t affect a lot of people but to some, it can be annoying not being allowed to move up in class and receive better treatment from the flight attendants
  • Limited capacity – some airlines have announced that they will not be selling all their seats on a given airplane. They will fly with limited capacity to help keep the CV19 virus from reappearing
  • Limited boarding – then there is the idea that some companies will limit boarding to 10 people at a time. The airlines act like they have all the time in the world where passengers do have and deadlines or other planes to catch are not that important.
  • Health measures – the companies may spray the individual planes after the trips are completed to help kill germs that may cause illnesses. This doesn’t affect passengers unless they have allergies to those cleaning agents.

Just to resume – it looks like we will be able to start flying again, but it will take much more time to fly again.

New Restrictions for Passengers

The different airline companies are also looking at implementing new restrictions for their passengers to follow. These may cause a lot of annoyance to already overburdened passengers who had to meet strict requirements before the pandemic hit.

It isn’t a question of when will airlines start flying again but what do passengers have to endure to get to their destinations.

  • Cabin baggage – you may be limited to only your computer, briefcase, baby items, and a handbag. Everything else must be sent to the cargo area and this may generate more fees for the passengers to pay
  • Clothing requirements – passengers may be asked to wear hoodies or face masks that zip across the nose and mouth. Plus, you may be required to bring your own face mask. Then one airline already requires its passengers to wear  surgical gloves when coming from Dubai
  • Hand sanitizing station – you may see more of these popping up at airports. Keeping your hands clean may be a must if you want to travel by air. The airlines won’t trust you to do it at home or when you leave your car at the airport parking lot so they will make sure you do it before you get on their planes.
  • Social distancing – this failed concept may still be implemented at airport ticketing counters and check-in counters. Spacing people out seems like a good idea even though it is unrealistic in limited areas like airport terminals.

What to Expect From Airlines and Airports

They call it the ‘new normal’ but really it is just a way to implement different concepts that either restrict a persons’ freedom or save the airlines some money. Do not expect your airport to be like it was before the pandemic hit.

It causes a lot of people to wonder why such draconian measures are being taken for this one disease when the world is full of other contagious diseases and has been since air travel originated.

The problem is that these new concepts are being considered and it may make air travel harder and more stressful.

  • High alert – you may get your temperature taken at the airport and you may find that people are more afraid than they used to be. The possibility of catching this disease has made them very nervous and you may not find too many friendly people at the airport.
  • Crowded airport parking lots – because people do not want to contract this disease they may opt to drive and park their cars in the airport parking lots. That means there will be fewer spaces for you to park your car causing more stress as your check-in time approaches
  • Implementation of immunity passports – this concept will help you bypass the temperature taking stations and the possible on the spot blood test centers. Do not put it past government and airline officials to bring this possibility into reality
  • No lounges allowed – these may remain closed. What was once a safe place to ease one’s tension may not be there to help you get over your fear of flying. Arriving early at the airport may not have its benefits anymore as social distancing and other pandemic solutions are held over at the airport

There May be More Changes to Flying

Airlines and airports may institute other changes that may impact your air travel time. When will airlines start flying again will not be the main question on everybody’s mind.

The real question may be are these changes actually necessary.

  • Do it yourself check in – this is a possibility as airlines look to save money and see the pandemic as the justification for this change. Gone will be the nice attendants that help you get your seat and an upgrade
  • Do it yourself bag drops – instead of handing your bag over to a nice attendant, you will have to place your own bags on the conveyor belt while still paying full fare for the privilege.
  • Robot cleaners – instead of humans entering the washrooms you may see a robot handle the cleaning of a place filled with bacteria. Not so sure if this is a good idea as these cleaners may miss a lot of tough places. They may work better sweeping up the terminal floors. These robots may be too limited in function but they will save the airports money
  • Protective barriers – not only at those locations that have human staff working the counters but also to help create safe zones for passengers
  • Cabin crew dress code – there is the possibility that over their uniforms the cabin crew may wear full protective gear. These are plastic gowns, face shields, and surgical gloves

You may get more space due to limited passengers on board and you may even get better service, food, and other frills but are the benefits worth the cost? You will have to be the judge if these changes are implemented.

One thing to ease your mind, airplanes are outfitted with HEPA filters so the air quality will be safe to breathe.

Lean Traveller Guide Pro Tip:
Airplanes are outfitted with HEPA filters so the air quality will be safe to breathe

Tourism May Take Some Time to Recover

That seems to be the word right now as every country has taken a hit to their tourist industry due to the virus and the ensuing lockdowns. Here are some items that may help the tourism industry rebound:

  1. Cancellation and change policies – airlines may continue these relaxed policies for some time. Due to the fact that they need money, the airlines may remain flexible. Stay tuned to know the latest news about flight delay compensation companies in review on that topic.
  2. Change policy – the same as #1. The airlines need business and pressure from the different countries may convince the airlines to remain flexible here as well.
  3. Low fares – it is possible that you will not see a rise in airfares any time soon. Airlines and tourism boards need to get people flying again. Or you may see a rise in fares as the airlines need to make money quickly.
  4. Visits may change – instead of seeing a lot of micro vacations travelers may change their plans and create extended stays. Or they rise of mini travel trips may become the new way to see different countries quickly.
  5. Demand for air travel – it is being predicted that the demand to fly may not return to pre-pandemic levels till about 2021. This may be a good time to book your flight if you do not like crowds
  6. Domestic travel may increase – people may be too afraid to go international fearing to contract the virus or some other disease.
  7. Business travel – it is predicted that business travel may decrease and not return to pre-pandemic levels. The convenience and lack of cost of the many business meeting internet apps may have something to do with this change. Anyway – I developed this topic in my previous articles like about the best apps for video calls or best headsets for video conferences.
  8. Hygiene & Sanitation – this may be given a higher priority now even after the pandemic ends. Countries may force airlines to keep their planes, etc. very clean

Some final words

When will airlines start flying again? As soon as countries allow their planes to enter the latter’s airports. Airlines probably would have kept flying if they were allowed to enter the countries they have flights.

Once the countries open up again, you should see a rise in scheduled flights and more people returning to the air to get where they want to go. Air flight is a necessary evil since so many people want to cross oceans to see loved ones, visit the different sites, and conduct business.

Getting back on track will take some time and thankfully countries are beginning to open up again and airlines are starting to fly. It won’t be long now before you can go to your bucket list spots and have a fulfilling vacation. One that opens up new worlds to you and lets you see how other people live.

Featured image source: Canva

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