The first flight from Orly started on Friday morning. It marks the gradual return on air traffic after three months of forced closure of Paris Airport during the Covid-19 crisis.
Air traffic is also getting thinner. At Orly Airport, after nearly three months of forced shutdown, a first aircraft took off at 6:25 am on Friday, June 26.
The company Transavia aircraft was watered by the water cannons of the fire engines at the Parisian airport during a ceremony called “water salute” before it started, en route to Porto.
More than 70 aircraft movements are planned for the day, compared to an average of 600 during normal times, run by eight companies (Air Caraïbes, Air Corsica, Air France, Amelia, Corsair, French Bee, Transavia and Wizzair). These flights will specifically serve Corsica, a few countries in the Schengen zone and the French overseas departments.
About 8,000 passengers are expected, or less than 10% of regular traffic of 90,000 passengers on average per day at this airport.
More than 7,000 posters and stickers to mark physical distance were placed at Orly, 150 gel dispensers and 137 Plexiglas installed at all reception counters, check-in and boarding banks.
A thermal camera takes the traveler’s temperature on arrival to detect possible cases of contamination of the corona virus. A decontamination system for cabin luggage that uses ultraviolet rays in the safety checks is tested.
Almost all Orly 3 stores will be open on Friday, with a few exceptions. Mobile collection points will be distributed in “duty-free” stores, fabric baskets have been replaced by metal baskets so that they can be disinfected regularly, just like the perfume tests.
On the side of this recovery, a group of environmental activists from Extinction Rebellion broke into the airport’s runways to disrupt the take-off of aircraft. The ADP group has confirmed this infringement and intends to file a complaint.
“Airport operations were interrupted briefly. Flight operations could resume safely on the airport’s other runways, in full coordination with the relevant government departments,” ADP said in a statement.
It is irresponsible to revive industries that participate in the destruction of our earth and endanger our lives without regard.
The allocation of these billions of euros of public money should be made in a transition to building a fair and resilient society 😌 pic.twitter.com/VCEoGRif5g
– Extinction Rebellion France 🐝🌺 (@xrFrance) June 26, 2020
The number of daily air movements in Orly is expected to rise to 173 in early July, but their development is still uncertain, linked to unknown whether the boundaries are opened or not, especially in Maghreb and the development of the health situation.
The opening of the airport will therefore be partial. All flights will first be grouped into Orly 3, the brand new terminal opened just over a year ago. Then gradually open Orly 4, 1 and 2.
Orly was closed for commercial flights on the evening of March 31 after the sudden decline in air traffic due to the pandemic. All commercial flights from the capital were grouped in Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), north of Paris, to rationalize operating costs.
In May, traffic collapsed at 97.8% at CDG, with only 200,000 passengers.
The restart of traffic will be extremely slow, ADP warned. Like the forecasts of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), which foresees the global recovery first on domestic flights, then on continental flights and finally on intercontinental flights, with traffic that will not return until 2023 at the 2019 level.