Paris-Orly airport reopens after 3-month virus closure

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Paris-Orly airport reopens after 3-month virus closure

ISLAMABAD0-Orly airport serving the French capital Paris reopened on Friday for the first time in nearly three months after air travel collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic but flights will be a fraction of the normal rate.

A plane operated by low-cost carrier Transavia took off at 6:25 am (0425 GMT) for Porto in Portugal, marking the first commercial flight since the airport south of Paris came to a halt on March 31.

Firefighters hosed the plane with a festive "water salute" before it took to the runway.

Airlines including Transavia, Air France, easyJet, Vueling and Air Caraibes account for most of the traffic at Orly, flying to the Caribbean, Reunion Island, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Croatia, among others.

On Friday, officials expect around 8,000 passengers, less than 10 percent of the daily pre-virus average of around 90,000.

They will be on more than 70 flights compared to the normal run of 600 per day.

Traffic is due to increase to 173 flights per day in July but it will depend much on whether Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia reopen their borders as well as on whether the virus remains under control.

 For nearly three months, all commercial flights from Paris have taken off from the main Charles de Gaulle airport, to the north of the capital, in order to rationalise costs.

        Orly, France, June 26 (AFP/APP):Orly airport serving the French capital Paris reopened on Friday for the first time in nearly three months after air travel collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic but flights will be a fraction of the normal rate.

A plane operated by low-cost carrier Transavia took off at 6:25 am (0425 GMT) for Porto in Portugal, marking the first commercial flight since the airport south of Paris came to a halt on March 31.

 Firefighters hosed the plane with a festive "water salute" before it took to the runway.

Airlines including Transavia, Air France, easyJet, Vueling and Air Caraibes account for most of the traffic at Orly, flying to the Caribbean, Reunion Island, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Croatia, among others.

On Friday, officials expect around 8,000 passengers, less than 10 percent of the daily pre-virus average of around 90,000.

They will be on more than 70 flights compared to the normal run of 600 per day.

Traffic is due to increase to 173 flights per day in July but it will depend much on whether Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia reopen their borders as well as on whether the virus remains under control.

For nearly three months, all commercial flights from Paris have taken off from the main Charles de Gaulle airport, to the north of the capital, in order to rationalise costs.