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Coronavirus

easyJet to ground majority of fleet from 24th March

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Following the country lockdowns, travel restrictions and changes to travel advice across its network, easyJet has taken the decision to ground the majority of its fleet of aircraft from Tuesday 24 March onwards.

The airline says they will continue to operate rescue flights as required to repatriate customers and anticipate most of their rescue operations to be completed by Monday 23 March.

They anticipate they will be operating a minimal schedule of essential services on some routes.

This will be a maximum of 10% of their usual capacity during this time of year and mainly routes to, from and within the UK.  

easyJet say they will continue to review their flight schedule on a weekly basis to ensure it matches demand.

Customers with existing reservation that do not intend to travel are encouraged to change their tickets for free so that the airline can best match their remaining flying to the actual demand.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said:

“These are unprecedented times for the airline industry. We know how important it is for customers to get home and so are continuing to operate rescue flights over the coming days to repatriate them.  Significantly reducing our flying programme is the right thing to do when many countries have issued advice to their citizens not to travel unless it is essential and the aircraft groundings will also remove significant levels of variable costs at a time when this remains crucial.”

Coronavirus

Powerful viruscide used across Southern Rails stations and trains to kill Coronavirus

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Govia Thameslink Railway’s entire fleet of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express trains, plus stations and staff areas have been treated with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing the Coronavirus for up to 30 days.

The product further improves GTR’s already-enhanced cleaning regime, in which stations and staff areas are treated with more short-term viruscides, and all 2,700 of its train carriages are sanitised every night.

While the current advice remains to only use public transport if you absolutely have to, the product provides another layer of protection for passengers who do need to travel such as key workers and staff who are valiantly supporting the national effort on the front line.

To help support everyone’s focus on keeping their hands clean, GTR has also ordered 1,000 no-touch hand sanitisers for staff and passengers which are being distributed to stations. 

A specially-developed app also tells staff at-a-glance when each train carriage was last cleaned with the long-lasting viruscide.

Engineering Director Steve Lammin said:

“Since the outbreak of this pandemic we have been doing all we can to protect our passengers and staff by ensuring our trains, and stations have enhanced cleaning regimes, and a switch in focus to high-touch areas and the increased use of anti-viral agents.

“We are now using a product that will kill Coronavirus for up to 30 days and we are applying this to surfaces across our network on a 21-day cycle. We want to do everything possible to work with passengers and staff to keep them safe and this will further protect everyone who is working so hard for this country.”

Electrostatic ‘wands’ (pictured and on video) have been used around stations and staff areas and GTR is deploying ‘Storm’ virus-killer backpacks which were used in NHS Nightingale Hospitals, as they cover large areas quickly. On trains, the new product needs to be applied traditionally with a microfibre cloth. In all locations, it is applied only after the entire surface area has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased.

Stations, trains and staff areas were already receiving enhanced cleans through additional extra staff, new 24-hour viruscide products and a switch to focus attention on passenger and staff touchpoints. Use of the 30-day viruscide will help GTR renew its focus on out of reach places to further improve the appearance of trains.

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