Airlines add capacity to bring customers home from Portugal

Airlines have added extra capacity on flights from Portugal to help British holidaymakers return home after the European country was removed from the green list by the UK government.

EasyJet has introduced larger aircraft on flights from Faro to four UK airports – Gatwick, Luton, Bristol and Manchester – from Saturday to Monday, creating more than 1,000 extra seats.

BA confirmed it would run more flights on larger aircraft ahead of 4am on Tuesday, when Portugal and it islands will switch from green to amber. The national flag carrier did not confirm how much extra capacity this represents, but said those who wanted to return earliy could do so free of charge.

EasyJet said it has contacted all its airline and package holiday customers in Portugal to see if they want to change their travel plans, and to advise them on testing options.

More: Government confirms Portugal switch from green to amber

  Industry leaders shocked at Portugal green list blow

Customers can transfer to easyJet’s UK-bound flights with extra capacity via the airline’s website or app.

EasyJet’s testing partner Collinson is contacting customers who need to arrange new tests in the wake of the latest changes to the government’s traffic light list, with a 20% discount available.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “We know first-hand from our customers what a blow this sudden decision to put Portugal on the amber list is.

“With many British tourists currently in Portugal our priority is to help the customers who need to return ahead of the Tuesday deadline.

“We are providing over a thousand additional seats from Portugal to the UK by flying larger aircraft on flights and adding some additional flights where there is demand.”

The airline stressed that the safety and wellbeing of customers and crew remained its “highest priority”.

EasyJet said: “The airline continues to have a number of biological safety measures in place onboard in line with guidance from the relevant authorities.

“This includes daily enhanced cabin disinfection effective in protecting against coronavirus for at least 24 hours and mandatory mask wearing for customers and crew.”

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