The San Diego County International Airport. Photo courtesy KPBS News.

British Airways will resume flights between Heathrow Airport in London and San Diego on Oct. 13 after more than a year of suspended services due to COVID-19, the airline said Wednesday.

British Airways is the first airline to resume non-stop service from San Diego to the United Kingdom since March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic.

“We are beyond thrilled to hear that British Airways will resume their flights between San Diego and London in October,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority president and CEO. “London is the largest demand market between San Diego and Europe due to the robust business relationships between the two cities and provides San Diegans a convenient hub to connect to destinations across Europe and beyond.”

Travelers are encourages to review international travel recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as health and travel requirements from the UK.

In order to board a flight into the United States, passengers  — including returning citizens and those fully vaccinated — must show a negative COVID-19 test dated no more than three days before travel or documentation of recovery in the past three months, according to Sabrina LoPiccolo, a San Diego International Airport spokesperson.

The San Diego airport has free onsite COVID-19 testing available through Carbon Health as an option for travelers.

“We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our San Diego flights and we are honored to be playing our part in reuniting families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart,” said Marie Hilditch, British Airways’ Head of North America sales. “The safety of our customers and colleagues has always been at the heart of everything we do. We know some customers won’t have flown for a long time, we can assure them we have a range of COVID-19 measures in place to provide stress and hassle-free travel.”

British Airways has adopted measures both in the airplane and in the airport to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. These include social distancing measures, the wearing of face masks and hand sanitizer stations.

The airline is also cleaning seats, seat buckles, tray tables and other key surfaces after every flight, LaPiccolo said. The air on British Airways flights is fully recycled every two to three minutes through HEPA filters, “which remove microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with over 99.9% efficiency, equivalent to hospital operating theatre standards,” she added.

The year-round, non-stop flights between San Diego and London operate on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday each week.

–City News Service

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