London City Airport to resume commercial flights

London City Airport Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many airlines were forced to ground aircraft due to a drop in demand over the coronavirus outbreak

London City Airport is set to reopen to the public later after it was closed for nearly three months because of Covid-19.

Commercial and private flights stopped operating on 25 March due to travel restrictions and a collapse in demand.

Government agencies and the military have been using the airport instead.

On Sunday, the first commercial flight to restart the airport will be from the Isle of Man and is due to land at 18:00 BST.

Initially flights will be restricted to those within the UK and Ireland.

Services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin are expected to return next month, while new routes to Teesside and Dundee will be launched on 6 July. European flights to destinations such as Ibiza, Florence, Malaga and Palma are expected to resume in the coming weeks.

‘Back to business’

The airport has introduced safety and hygiene measures to help stop the spread of Covid-19 such as mandatory face coverings, limiting terminal access to those with a ticket and enhanced cleaning.

The results of a survey of 4,700 London City customers published earlier this week suggested 79% were very likely or quite likely to fly when they were told by the government and airports or airlines that it was safe to do so.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the airport, said the poll showed passengers had “a desire to not only enjoy a holiday soon after nearly three months of lockdown, but to get back to business travel as well”.

Last year it was the UK’s 12th busiest airport, handling 5.1 million passengers.

Its location in east London puts the airport close to the capital’s financial district and is particularly popular with business travellers.

The airport is used by British Airways’ business-class only flights to and from New York.