UK | Capacity added to Bulgaria and Croatia but Cuba and Turkey holidays cancelled

Jet2 and Jet2holidays is adding capacity to new green listed Bulgaria and Croatia but suspending flights to red list Turkey until August 11.

The UK’s second largest travel group insisted the switch of the Balearic islands from green to amber from Monday “changes nothing whatsoever” for fully vaccinated holidaymakers.

However, TUI said customers currently on holiday in Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca who want to return early – before the Balearics go amber at 4am on Monday – should contact the company in their destination.

“All requests will be accommodated on TUI flights where seats are available,” TUI said

“To offer continued flexibility and reassurance, customers due to travel to the Balearics in the next 14 days and customers with bookings up to and including 31 October 2021 can change their holiday fee-free up to 14 days before travel,” the operator added.

“Customers due to travel to the Balearics in the next 14 days will also be able to change their holiday fee-free.”

TUI also cancelled a flight due to leave today (Thursday) from Manchester to Varadero as Cuba was placed on the red list. A flight has been laid on to return passengers on holiday in the Caribbean island to Manchester at 11.30pm local time while all Cuba holidays have been cancelled until August 31 with refunds offered.

Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapy said: “Customers and children travelling with them who are under 18 can continue to enjoy, or look forward to enjoying, quarantine-free flights and holidays from across the UK to any destination on the green or amber list this summer.

“From the demand we are seeing this is most certainly the case, with customers looking to enjoy the benefits of the successful vaccination programme by getting away to the sunshine.

“That said, as restrictions across the UK continue to be eased and ‘VIPs’ travel carte-blanche, it is still unfair that hardworking customers and families continue to be judged by a different and stricter set of rules when it comes to taking their well-deserved holidays.

“Travel is not, and should not be, the preserve of the wealthy and powerful.”

He added: “It is frustrating that decisions continue to be made about international travel whilst the criteria for these decisions are withheld from us. Once again, we call on governments to be transparent, both with the data and their parameters for making decisions.

“With Croatia and Bulgaria going onto the green list from Monday, this means customers can enjoy quarantine-free flights and holidays to Dubrovnik, Split and Bourgas (Sunny Beach) this summer.

“We know what huge demand there is for green list destinations, so we have made an immediate decision to add thousands of additional seats to Croatia and Bulgaria this summer. This includes two new routes to Bourgas (Bulgaria) from Glasgow and Leeds Bradford for the peak summer holiday season, as well as more summer flights to Dubrovnik from Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Stansted and Newcastle and Split – Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Stansted.”

Any travellers who have not been fully-vaccinated and who are due to travel up to and including August 11 to any destination that is currently on the amber list can cancel their booking with a full refund or amend their booking fee-free.

But Heapy said: “As Turkey is still on the red list, we have taken the decision to suspend all flights and holidays up to and including 11th August and all affected customers will have their booking cancelled with a full refund.

“The UK government has committed to reviewing its traffic light status of overseas destinations every three weeks.

“We will continue to review our programme and policies in line with that timetable and we will continue to make considered decisions in the best interests of our customers and independent travel agency partners.

“We have been repeatedly recognised for that approach throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to do this.”

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