German leisure carrier TUIfly has reactivated more than half of its fleet since restarting regular flights on 15 June.
The airline says it has carried around 250,000 passengers on 2,000 flights, and that 21 of its 39 Boeing 737s were back in service last month.
Flights are being operated from 10 airports across Germany and Switzerland to holiday destinations within the EU. Among the most popular destinations are Spanish islands Majorca and Fuerteventura and Greek islands Crete, Kos und Rhodes, TUIfly notes.
Weekly flights to Turkish destination Dalaman from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Hannover are scheduled to begin on 28 November. The airline says it intends to resume services to Egypt and Cape Verde as soon as government travel warnings for these locations have been lifted.
“The aim is to be able to offer more than half of the originally planned capacity [for the summer 2020 schedule] in the coming months.”
TUIfly Germany managing director Oliver Lackmann acknowledges that safety measures – including facial masks, staggered boarding and disembarkation, and changed in-flight service – have demanded “unusual flexibility” from passengers and crews. But he asserts that the measures have become routine and that customer satisfaction is “very good”.
He adds: “The load factor of our flights… shows that many guests were eagerly awaiting their vacation on Europe’s sunny beaches.”
TUIfly notes it has extended aircraft ground times to an hour to accommodate slower boarding and disembarkation, and that fleet deployment is “generously calculated” to ensure “possible delays can be absorbed”.
In June, TUIfly disclosed a plan to halve its fleet and cut crew, technical and administrative jobs in an effort to “adjust the size of the airline to a healthy and future-proof level” in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The Hannover-based airline is one of five European operators within TUI Group, and carried 7.9 million passengers in 2019, it says.
TUI previously disclosed its intent to bring all of its airlines within a single Hannover-based company to centralise the flight division.