Bristol Airport: First flight departs to Portugal as lockdown eases

Passengers boarding the first flight out of Bristol Airport since lockdown eased on May 17
Passengers boarding the first flight out of Bristol Airport since lockdown eased on May 17 Credit: ITV West Country

The first flight to leave the South West with passengers heading to a green light country departed on 18 May.

A RyanAir flight from Bristol Airport took off at 5.15 pm bound for Faro, Portugal.

Around 180 passengers were on board and were required to wear masks and take a a ‘Fit to Fly’ covid test prior to departure.

One holidaymaker was particularly excited and said: "It was always something that I wanted to exploit as soon as I could.

Some passengers wanted to 'exploit' the opportunity to board the first flight out of Bristol Airport once restrictions eased this week Credit: ITV West Country

"Then when it came up I had a little look at the flights and they were there. Bristol's local so here I go."

Portugal is one of only 12 on the government's green list following the easing of covid restrictions on travel this week.

There was only one flight to Portugal but the airport expects to see a gradual resumption of flights to the country.

By the end of May, there will be 25 flights per week to Portugal, increasing to 35 by July.

Dave Lees, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, is looking ahead to the holiday season and considering potential future destinations.

He said: "Spain, along with a number of other southern European countries, will be very key for ourselves over the course of the coming months.

"It's important for people who want to travel just to go and see friends, family, and obviously take that well-deserved break after what has been a very challenging time for all of us."

The airlines have not reduced seating capacity on the flights because the air circulation on the aircraft means it is not essential to do so.

When the passengers return to the UK, they are expected to follow government guidance which involves taking a covid test on or before day two in the 10 days before arriving.

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