Matt Hancock announces India's addition to COVID-19 'red list'
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Airlines are gearing up to welcome back passengers once the Government gives International leisure travel the go-ahead. However, where flights will be able to jet passengers off to will depend on which nations make it onto the “green list”.
In recent days, concerns are mounting over a new variant of coronavirus in India.
The nation has since become the latest to be placed on the “red list” for travel.
Meanwhile, though there has been no clear indication which countries will be on the green list, easyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren has remained positive Europe’s main hotspots will make the cut.
He said he “would expect almost all major European countries” to be classified as low risk.
With May 17 mere weeks away, what are the latest updates from major airlines including easyJet, Jet2, TUI, Ryanair and British Airways?
easyJet has continued to operate some flights during the pandemic, however, these could be impacted by sudden changes or cancellations.
The airline’s package holiday arm, easyJet holidays, has cancelled all holiday plans up to May 17 in line with Government guidelines.
In a statement on its website, easyJet holidays explained: “Currently, the Government has said that the planned restart date for international travel is still due to be 17 May and that’s the date we’re planning to start taking people away again.
“The Government has also shared a little bit more about how holidays can be restarted again and the introduction of a traffic light system – they will share which traffic light colour destinations fall under in early May, so we’ll know even more then. We’re continually working through how Covid-19 may impact future bookings in departure date order.
“If your holiday becomes affected, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.”
For flight only journeys, easyJet says it is “planning to operate as many flights as possible” but warns varying travel restrictions around the world could impact journeys.
“We appreciate the uncertainty this may be causing you and understand that you may need to change your travel plans,” states easyJet.
“So to provide you with some flexibility, we currently have these options available.
“Switch to another easyJet flight for free. This includes the option to select a different arrival and departure airport within the same country of the original booking if you wish.
“Choose a voucher for the full value of your ticket. The voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and gives you the flexibility to book travel anywhere on our network when you’re ready to fly.
“Request a refund. Our team are currently processing refund requests within seven days, and this may take a few days to show as available in your account, depending on your bank.”
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Jet2 has made the decision to cancel all flights and package holidays until June 23, 2021, due to the ongoing uncertainty of the “traffic light system”.
The airline made the announcement on April 9. In a statement on its website Jet2 explained: “Because of the continued uncertainty following the release of the Global Travel Taskforce framework, it’s with a heavy heart that we’ve taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights up to and including 23 June 2021.
” If you’re affected by any programme changes, we’ll automatically cancel your booking with a full refund and our team of travel experts will be in touch to help you book your summer getaway for later in the year.
“If you’re due to travel from 24 June 2021 onwards, we’ll provide an update closer to the time.”
Customers who made their booking via an online travel agent must contact their provider directly.
TUI continues to move forward with plans to resume some flights and holidays from May 17 “at the earliest”.
However, it notes this will be in line with the “traffic light system” as well as any Government restrictions at that time.
In a statement on the TUI website, it explains: “Following the recent announcement from the UK government, customers travelling from England will be subject to a new traffic light system with ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’ destinations.
“It’s expected that international travel can resume from 17 May at the earliest.”
The airline anticipates having more information “within the next few weeks”.
TUI has a “holiday promise” in place which will mean customers are entitled to “change your booking to another date for free or receive a full refund” if their holiday can not go ahead.
“If we need to cancel your holiday for any of these reasons, you don’t need to do anything,” continues the TUI website.
“We’ll work through bookings in departure date order to proactively contact you as soon as we can.
“If you have an accommodation-only booking, which isn’t impacted by travel restrictions, and that you, therefore, don’t want to cancel, please give us a call.”
Ryanair has continued to operate some flights throughout the pandemic, though these have been subject to change at short notice if necessary.
The airline has extended its “no flight change fee” until November to allow more “flexibility” for the customer.
“We know your plans may change, so we’ve dropped our flight change fees for all new bookings made before 30 June 2021, for travel before 31 October 2021,” reads a statement from Ryanair.
You can now make up to two flight changes for travel by 31 October 2021. This gives you complete flexibility and peace of mind.
“Our Zero Change Fee promo is applicable for bookings made after 10 June 2020.
“Flight changes must take place at least seven days before the original scheduled departure dates to avail of the promo.
“Fare and product price difference may apply.”
British Airways has continued to offer a “reduced” and “dynamic” service throughout the pandemic.
It has cancelled all of its package holiday plans until May 17.
The airline also continues to offer a “book with confidence commitment” to provide “flexibility” for customers.
“Our book with confidence commitment means you have the option to change your booking date and destination or even cancel it completely,” the airline explains on its website.
“And with our protective measures on the ground and in the air, you’ll be safe every step of the way.
“For bookings made on or after 3 March 2020, for journeys that are due to have been completed by 30 April 2022, you can change your booking or cancel your booking.”
Customers can “change the dates and destination” of their booking without a fee.
However, they will be required to “pay any difference in price”.
British Airways adds: “If you decide you no longer want to travel, you can cancel your booking and we’ll give you a voucher to the same value for a future booking.”
Customers are advised to check the status of their flight before travelling, as well as any current Government guidelines or restrictions.
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