SAN FRANCISCO - Some international airlines are returning to the San Francisco International Airport and nonstop service to Europe will return next month, but with limited flights and preventative procedures in place. Additional services to Japan are expected as well.
SFO hasn’t had a flight to Europe since April 1 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport said in a news release Tuesday. They added that all travel advisories, restrictions on entry, and arrival screening procedures remain in effect, despite resuming restricted service.
“This includes a Department of Homeland Security Notice of Arrival Restriction requiring American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families who have been in certain European countries at any point in the 14 days before their scheduled arrival to the United States to travel through one of 13 airports upon arrival to the U.S., submit to an enhanced entry screening and self-quarantine for 14 days once they reach their final destination,” the airport said in the release.
San Francisco began moving into phase 2 of the reopening process Monday, allowing retail establishments to resume business with storefront pick-up. However, the most recent public health order continues to restrict travel to essential needs. On Tuesday, the US and Canada agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21.
SFO expects the following services to resume in June:
- All Nippon Airway plans to operate three flights per week to Tokyo-Narita on June 1
- Swiss International Air Lines plans to operate one weekly flight to Zurich on June 1
- Lufthansa plans to operate three flights per week to Munich on June 16
The airlines have not provided information related to how many passengers will be allowed on each flight. At SFO, passengers and employees must wear a mask and thousands of space markers are in place to promote social distancing. Hundreds of hand sanitizers have been positioned throughout the terminals and protective barriers made of clear plastic are being installed.
SFO has an average of 42 weekly international flights scheduled for May and 220 weekly international flights scheduled for the month of June, according to the Official Airline Guide, which provides a database of airlines’ flight schedules. Schedules prior to the pandemic had 867 weekly international flights for May and 891 international flights for June.
Ryan Moran is a digital producer for KTVU. Email Ryan at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @ryanmoranSMC.