EasyJet, Tui and Ryanair flight cancellations after travel update

Hopes for summer holidays abroad are fading after travel rules were tightened amid growing concerns over coronavirus variants and mutations.

Travel bosses are facing "another lost summer" after Portugal was added to the amber travel list just weeks after the holiday hotspot reopened for British tourists.

Urging caution ahead of the scheduled domestic unlock on June 21, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps blamed the move on "a sort of Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variant" having been detected, and an increased test positivity rate in the country.

The news comes as it was revealed that the variant first identified in India is now the dominant Covid strain in the UK.

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Portugal, including the islands of Madeira and the Azores, will be removed from the green list which exempts the need to quarantine on return from 4am on Tuesday, meaning travellers will be required to self-isolate for 10 days at home.

The travel industry have reacted with dismay at Thursday's announcement, which also confirmed that no additional countries will move on to the green list for the time being, despite speculation that popular destinations such as some Spanish and Greek islands could be added.

Here's the latest update from Jet2, TUI, easyJet and Ryanair.

Jet2

Low-cost airline Jet2 has delayed the restart of flights and holidays from June 24 to July 1, following the Government changes to travel lists on Thursday.

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The firm's boss called for "openness and transparency" on coronavirus data so that the industry could better understand decisions affecting airlines and their customers.

It comes after several changes to the travel lists – including moving Portugal from "green" to "amber" – were made by the Government on Thursday.

Jet2 said in a statement: "Following today's update, we have taken the decision to restart flights and holidays on July 1 2021.

"For any destinations currently on the Amber List, we are also allowing customers to amend their booking free of charge if they are due to travel between July 1 and July 21 2021."

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: "We know how disappointed our customers and independent travel agency partners will be following today's announcement, and we share their concerns and frustrations.

"We are now calling for complete openness and transparency when it comes to the data, so that customers and the industry can really understand what is driving these decisions."

"We agree that public health must be the number one priority. However, despite all the evidence and data showing that travel can restart safely and at scale, the UK continues to remain largely grounded whilst the rest of Europe opens up."

Jet2 said flights to Turkey, which remains on the "red" list, would not restart until July 22.

It added that customers affected by changes to the programme would have their bookings automatically cancelled and would be given a full refund.

easyJet

Flights will still be operating for travels to amber listed countries.

The airline has cancelled their bookings to countries such as Spain and Greece for the end of June.

Their statement read: "We want to fly as many customers on as many flights as possible this summer, however as all airlines have been doing throughout the pandemic, we continue to adjust our flying schedule based on the restrictions put in place by Governments to ensure our flying programme best matches demand."

Responding to the update on travel lists, easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: "This shock decision to add Portugal to the amber list is a huge blow to those who are currently in Portugal and those who have booked to be reunited with loved ones, or take a well-deserved break this summer.

"With Portuguese rates similar to those in the UK it simply isn't justified by the science.

"And to add no more countries to the green list when most of Europe's infection rates are on a downward trend and many places with low infection rates below that of the UK, such as the Balearics with a current rate of 33 in 100,000 and Malta, with just 12 in 100,000, this makes no sense.

"Especially when domestic travel is allowed within the UK, despite a number of cities having infection rates 20 times greater than much of Europe."

Ryanair

Low-cost airline firm Ryanair said in a statement: "As the majority of adults across the UK/EU will be vaccinated in the coming weeks, these travel restrictions will become redundant.

"UK families continue to book for travel this Summer, safe in knowledge that if their plans change so can their booking, with Ryanair's zero change fee offer on all bookings made before the end of September for travel before 31 December 2021."

TUI

Following the move of Portugal from the green list to amber, TUI said they are reviewing their policies.

They said: "We're currently reviewing our programme following this announcement, and will be contacting customers who are impacted, including those currently on holiday, and those who are due to depart in the next 14 days, as soon as possible to discuss their options."

TUI also cancelled more flights and holidays to a number of destinations this summer.

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TUI recently scrapped trips to Turkey and several other destinations because of restrictions on travel.

They said they had to "unfortunately cancel all holidays to the following red and amber destinations" up to and including June 13.

Aruba, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece – Crete (Chania), Halkidiki, Kefalonia, Preveza, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Thassos, Zante – Italy, Jamaica, Spain – mainland Spain, Formentera, Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, and La Palma.

All TUI Lakes and Mountains holidays are cancelled up to and including June 13, while trips to Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey have been axed until June 27.

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