Tui extends cancellation of Spanish holidays

Tui has extended the suspension of holidays in Spain for UK customers.

The UK’s largest tour operator has cancelled all trips to mainland Spain until at least August 17, while its programmes in Spain’s Balearic Islands and Canary Islands are on hold until August 10.

The firm is adding more flights and using larger aircraft for trips to Greece and Turkey to enable affected customers to change their holiday destinations.

On Sunday the Government reintroduced the quarantine requirement for people arriving from Spain and advised against non-essential travel to the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been calls for restrictions to be eased for the Spanish islands.

Tui UK and Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham said: “The summer holiday period is the most important time of year for travel operators and we are therefore doing everything we can to help customers get their well-deserved holiday.

“The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is always our highest priority.

“Importantly, we also call upon the UK Government to work closely with the travel industry and remove the blunt-tool approach to quarantine and consider the rapid introduction of regional travel corridors.

“The level of uncertainty and confusion created this week is damaging for business and customer confidence in travel.”

Tui announced on Thursday that it plans to close nearly a third of its high street stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland to cut costs and respond to changes in customer behaviour.

Hungarian airline Wizz Air is offering cut-price “rescue fares” for Jet2 customers whose flights to and from the Spanish islands have been cancelled amid low outbound demand following the change in the Government’s policy.

Jet2 customers have had flights back to the UK cancelled and been asked to return sooner than planned, with the airline telling them it has flights available until August 3.

Meanwhile, Europe’s major airline and airport associations have written to leaders in the UK and European Union, setting out their “deepest concerns over the reintroduction of travel restrictions”.

The joint letter from ACI Europe, Airlines for Europe and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said: “Coming at the height of the peak summer season for tourism and travel industries, these restrictions are slowing down the recovery in air traffic and the restoration of air connectivity.

“They are badly hurting the European economy – and threatening livelihoods.”

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