easyJet And TUI Holidays Stick To May 17 Restart Plans Bringing Hope For A Return Of British Holidaymakers To Spain.
TOUR operators easyJet and TUI holidays have confirmed they have no plans to push back their restart dates. Earlier this month rival operator Jet2holidays pushed back its restart date to June 24 after the government’s Global Travel Taskforce published its report on the restart of travel.
The Spanish tourism industry is pinning it’s hope on Boris Johnson’s government adding it to the ‘green light’ traffic system, thereby opening up the country to holidaymakers from the UK for this summer.
A TUI spokeswoman confirmed, “we don’t have any plans on pushing back our start date.”
She added: “We’ve offered our customers maximum flexibility by allowing them to amend if they want some certainty, but most customers are still hopeful, like us, that we’ll be flying from May 17.”
She also pointed out that TUI, unlike Jet2holidays, flies to long-haul as well as short-haul destinations in Europe, where Covid infection levels are currently high – meaning many classic summer sun destinations might not be on the ‘green list’ when it is revealed ahead of the restart.
TUI has already begun holidays for customers in its German and Polish markets, meaning it would not have to start operations from scratch, the spokeswoman explained.
easyJet said it was ‘encouraged’ by the pace of the vaccination rollout in the UK, while it expected the European programme to pick up pace in the coming weeks. Due to this, it believes it will be able to take passengers on holiday again during the summer.
easyJet also believes demand for travel will take off in Europe as restrictions are eased and said it would be able to ramp capacity up or down to meet demand from passengers.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive, said today, April 14: “We have the operational flexibility to rapidly increase flying and add destinations to match demand. easyJet is ready to resume flying, prepared for the ramp-up and looking forward to being able to reunite people with their families or take them on leisure and business flights once again. As a result, we remain well positioned for the recovery this summer and beyond.”
Sam Benson, from Competa in Malaga, said, quote: I know Spain desperately needs tourism for the sake of the economy but I am nervous about welcoming tourists from the UK. I’m concerned that the people coming on holiday will not adhere to our rules about wearing masks all the time and distancing since they don’t seem to have taken these rules seriously in their own country. I would feel happier if there were plenty of official patrols ensuring that our rules are strictly enforced with hefty fines for nonconformists.
Announcing the findings of the Global Travel Taskforce set up by the government to examine how leisure travel could be reopened safely after lockdown, Grant Shapps, UK’s Secretary of State for Transport, said foreign holidays would resume on May 17 at the earliest.
“Yes, you’ll want to check what the situation is in two or three weeks’ time when that list – the green, amber, red, is produced – you’ll want to know that you’ve got good holiday insurance and flexible flights and the rest of it.
“But for the first time I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and we’ll be able to restart international travel, including cruises by the way, in a safe and secure way, knowing about the vaccinations, everything we know about the disease this year, and of course that abundance of caution – having the tests in place.”
Source: The Guardian