British Airways (BA) aircraft and crew have been landing in Lima, Peru, to rescue hundreds of stranded Britons and bring them home.
The repatriation flights were chartered by the Foreign Office in conjunction with British Airways and travelled from both London Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
The flights were scheduled to land back in the UK by yesterday (Tuesday 31 March) at the latest. All services were operated by the airline’s Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.
In other news from the legacy carrier, it has been reported that all BA’s UK operations are to be consolidated at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
Any flights that previously operated from Terminal 3 will be shifted to Terminal 5 for the time being. This follows on from the airline’s decision to suspend its flights departing from London City Airport.
BA has also pulled out of Gatwick Airport, despite having a sizeable number of flights operating from the South Terminal. BA flights from London Gatwick were already being scaled back after Jersey Airport advised that the Jersey-Gatwick route was being suspended until the end of April.
The airline will continue to carry out essential functions such as maintenance, towing and cleaning in order to be ready to start up again effectively.
As previously reported, Gatwick Airport has announced it is to close down the North Terminal, consolidate passenger processing and facilities into the airport’s South Terminal and limit scheduled flights on its runway to between 1400 and 2200.
Last week saw London City Airport announce that all commercial and private flights would be temporarily suspended from 26 March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, Easyjet has grounded its entire fleet of 330-plus aircraft “as a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic”.
The British low-cost carrier has reached an agreement with the union Unite on furlough arrangements for its cabin crew. The agreement, effective from 1 April for a period of two months, will mean that crew will be paid 80 per cent of their average pay through the government job retention scheme.