The travel expert appeared on ITV Good Morning Britain from Gatwick Airport after going through an empty security area before boarding his Easyjet flight to Glasgow. Speaking from the passengers’ lounge after security he said: “I’m here in the departure lounge and there are about 50 people. But I think I’m the only normal person, everybody else seems to be a member of the Easyjet cabin crew. They are here just to see what the experience is like and it’s really quite strange.
“I was the only person in security. There were about 40 security staff who offered to help and it’s great to be back on board but I tell you what, the prices, my goodness me. I paid £175 for this.”
But as he boarded the plane, Mr Calder revealed how impossible it is to follow social distancing measures on the packed flight. He said: “There’s a couple of empty seats and you’ll see behind me there’s quite a lot of empty seats.
“But if I just turn the camera around, you’ll see it’s actually quite crowded on board.
“Of course, everybody wearing masks, and the hope is that if we all carry on wearing masks, we’ll be able to stay safe.”
Asked how Easyjet is allowed to sit passengers at a distance smaller than the recommended two metres, Mr Calder said: “Look, it’s your choice. They’re doing everything they can.
“They’ve got high-efficiency particulate air filters so the air is coming down and it’s going straight into the floor, they say, so if anybody has any coughs or sneezes that’s not going to affect me. That’s the theory.
“But you’re going to be taking a risk, of course, you are.”
EasyJet’s boss has insisted he would “feel 100 percent safe” on packed planes as the airline restarts operations for the first time in 11 weeks.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren told the PA news agency that the Luton-based carrier took guidance from international regulators to develop an enhanced safety and hygiene regime ahead of its resumption of flights on Monday.
Passengers and crew are required to wear masks, aircraft are regularly deep-cleaned, and disinfection wipes and hand sanitiser are being made available.
EasyJet’s first UK flight since it grounded its aircraft on March 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic was from Gatwick to Glasgow, taking off at 7am.
Mr Lundgren said not operating a single flight in nearly three months has been “devastating”, and the airline is “super-excited” to return to the skies.
He will travel on his first easyJet flight after the restart on Wednesday.
Asked if he would be anxious about his health if the plane is full, he replied: “I would feel 100 percent safe.
“The recommendations that we’ve implemented have been defined together with international regulators Easa (European Aviation Safety Agency), ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and also our own company’s medical doctors and expertise.”
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The Airbus A321neo – easyJet’s largest aircraft – can seat 235 passengers.
Despite the 14-day quarantine policy and current travel restrictions imposed in the UK, Mr Lundgren said he believed summer holidays will be possible.
He went on: “We would hope and would be really looking forward to restrictions being either lifted, or air bridges put in place where it made sense to do so, allowing UK customers as well as people in the rest of Europe to be able to go on a holiday.”
Air bridges would involve travellers arriving from countries where the risk of being infected by coronavirus is deemed to be low to avoid having to self-isolate for 14 days.
EasyJet’s initial schedule involves mainly domestic flying in the UK and France.
The airline will ramp up its operations in the coming weeks.
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