Travel: Government 'fuming' over extra flights says Watt

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From May 17, Britons are no longer banned from travelling to certain overseas destinations under the Government’s “traffic light” system. At the time of writing, Portugal remains the only major European beach holiday hotspot on the “green list”, however more nations are likely to be added in the coming months.

As international travel makes its gradual return what are the latest updates from big-name airlines in the UK such as Jet2, easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways (BA) and TUI?


Jet2 has maintained its decision to hold off on resuming flights and holidays until June 24.

In an update on its website, the Leeds-based carrier explained: “We’re really looking forward to restarting our holidays and flights programme again from June 24 2021.

“We’re taking the time to get everything ready at our airports, onboard our planes and in our resorts to give you the safest and smoothest holiday experience possible.”

The airline has recently developed its own “traffic light policy” for flight-only bookings in line with Government guidelines.

“The UK Government has confirmed that international travel is now legal,” Jet2 states.

“However, there are some conditions in place for people returning from different destinations, known as the Traffic Light system.  

“The UK Government has committed to reviewing its Traffic Light ‘status’ of overseas destinations every three weeks.

“We’ll review our programme and policies in line with that timetable. Our last review date was May 13 2021. 

“We expect to review again on or around June 1 2021 and every three weeks after that.

“As the UK Government has previously decided not to give us advance notice of any changes to the entry requirements from different countries, please bear with us as we need to take time to consider any changes to our programme and policies.”

Customers are advised to check the travel and entry requirements for their destination at least 14 days before travelling.

Green list destination holidays will go ahead as planned.

For amber list destinations, Jet2 states: “We’ll review the status of destinations on the amber list following the next UK Government review which we expect to be on or around June 1, 2021.

“However, if your flight is due to depart on or before July 18 2021, if you want to, you can amend your flight admin-fee-free.” 

For countries on the red list, holidays will not go ahead.

“If your destination is on the red list at the next Government update we’ll allow you to cancel your flight free of charge if it is due to depart up to and including July 18 2021, and we will of course keep the situation under close review.”


easyJet has boosted its capacity with 105,000 extra seats onboard flights to green list destinations.

The airline explains on its website that “holidays to ‘green’ destinations can go ahead, with a few steps to keep in mind” meanwhile “holidays to ‘amber’ destinations can go ahead if you’re happy to travel and follow the re-entry steps set out by the government.”

easyJet is working with Randox to provide COVID-19 test kits for customers who are required to take them depending on the “traffic light” status of their holiday destination.

“In line with our industry-leading easyJet holidays Protection Promise, we won’t be operating any holidays to destinations that are on the ‘red’ list at the time of departure,” continues the orange-tipped carrier.

“But as the lists can change and destinations could move to ‘amber’ or ‘green’, you may still be able to book selected holidays currently on the ‘red’ list and we’ll keep future holidays under close review.

“You can make changes or cancel your holiday if you’re more than 28 days away from your departure date, and now you can make changes within 28 days knowing if your destination stays on the ‘red’ list we’ll cancel any bookings no later than seven days before departure.”

Under its package holidays arm, all holidays can be changed, fee-free, up to 28 days before travel.

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Ryanair has launched a seat sale with new routes available from £19.99.

The airline is also continuing its “zero change fee” policy on bookings up to June 30 allowing changes to be made through October 31, 2021.

For customers who are due to travel, the company reminds passengers to “check with the relevant authorities before you fly.”

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary told BBC Breakfast on Monday morning that the airline has purchased 210 more aircraft in order to “add more capacity” and “keep prices down”.

However, he warned holidaymakers to book early to avoid disappointment.

British Airways

British Airways continued to operate to some destinations throughout the pandemic though they explained this would be on a “reduced and dynamic” scale.

However, in response to the resumption of travel the airline has added new services across popular holiday destinations including Greece and the Canary Islands from June and July onwards.

At the time of writing, the airline will operate 27 short-haul destinations, across 112 hotspots during the peak summer period.

Sean Doyle, BA Chairman and CEO, said: “We’re pleased that our customers are able to start travelling again to some countries, including Portugal, and we’ve put on additional flights from London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh to Faro to help people get moving.”

The airline has also introduced its own “Protection Promise” to allow customers more “flexibility” when booking.

“Our book with confidence commitment means you have the option to change your booking date and destination or even cancel it completely,” explains the airline’s website.

For bookings made on or after March 3, 2020, for journeys that are due to have been completed by April 30, 2022, customers have the option to change their booking or cancel their booking in exchange for a voucher for future travel.


TUI has ramped up its offering to Portugal following the resumption of travel to the green list destination.

Aircraft which normally operate long-haul routes will take passengers to the hotspot.

TUI has assured it will only fly customers to countries where they will not be required to quarantine.

On its website, the airline explains: “If we know a destination or hotel is asking people to quarantine when they arrive in the country, for any length of time – and there isn’t the option to forgo this quarantine period by providing evidence of a negative COVID-19 test – or if a destination is on the red list meaning you’ll need to quarantine in a hotel on your return, we simply won’t go there.

“If – before you depart – we know you’ll have to quarantine at home on your return home, you’ll have the option to change your holiday, as we don’t expect you to do this, but your booking won’t be cancelled.”

TUI has also teamed up with testing provider Chronomics to provide COVID-19 testing packages from £20 per person for passengers.

The airline is also boosting “flexibility” for customers with a new changes policy.

“We’re offering free changes on all holidays, including those to green list destinations, due to depart before October 31 2021.”

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