Britons have been given hope that their summer vacation plans could be back on the cards after some airlines have begun releasing flights for the months ahead.
After weeks of being in lockdown, many of us accepted that our dream of booking a villa in Spain or staying in a resort in Croatia had been dashed. However, as restrictions slowly begin to ease, there could be a chance you will be able to soak up the sun on a beach and immerse yourself in a new culture this summer after all.
Earlier this week, Tui revealed it is planning to launch flights to eight destinations from the beginning of July, putting measures in place to make the journey as safe as possible for passengers.
From July 11th, it will resume flights to Ibiza, Palma, Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Lanzarote and Tenerife from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham, hoping to fill up to 44 aircrafts per week. By the end of the month, it hopes to add a further 11 destinations to the list from five UK airports, depending on what the government advice is at the time.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK & Ireland, said the company is “really excited” to be operating again.
“We know many Brits are eager to travel again, and we have ambitious plans to rapidly increase our programme as soon as possible, to offer even more choice when it comes to holidaying this summer,” he stated.
London City Airport also announced BA CityFlyer will restart routes to Ibiza, Florence, Malaga and Palma over the next few weeks, having already resumed domestic journeys.
At the moment, Tui is focusing on locations where air bridges are expected to be implemented, including Greece and Spain.
Air bridges allow countries to visit each other without the need to quarantine, otherwise holidaymakers may have to isolate themselves for 14 days when they arrive at the destination – taking up the entire vacation for most travellers.
If nations demonstrate they have low levels of infection risk, however, air bridges could be put in place to enable movement between them.
As Greece and Spain have a particularly low rate of infection at the moment, the UK is considering agreeing these travel corridors with them initially. Other countries that could be part of the agreement include France, Turkey and Dubai.
While the government has yet to confirm its air bridge plans to the public, it is thought they could be implemented by the end of June, meaning holidaymakers with travel arrangements booked for the summer months could still make their trip.
Those apprehensive about travelling will be reassured to know strict safety measures are likely to be put in place, though it is important to check with each airline, tour operator and accommodation first.
Tui, for instance, is making face masks mandatory on board; will install hospital standard air filtering systems to keep fresh air flowing through the aircraft; will make hand sanitiser sachets available to passengers; and implement more frequent disinfecting of the cabin.