The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Biggest tour operator hopes to open holiday routes in three weeks
Tui will restart its holiday programme within three weeks, expressing “absolute confidence” the government will have relaxed travel restrictions by then.
The UK’s biggest tour operator announced it will serve eight destinations across Spain and Greece from July 11.
Holidays will be available to the Greek islands of Crete, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu, as well as Tenerife and Lanzarote, two of Spain’s Canary Islands, and Majorca and Ibiza in the Balearics.
Tui’s commercial director, acknowledged the plan is dependent on the government altering its position on travel advice and the two-week quarantine for international arrivals.
He said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) would need to stop advising against all nonessential oversea travel and “air bridges” would need to be created, enabling people to travel between the UK and certain countries without needing to go into self-isolation for 14 days at either end.
Mr Sofer said: “Due to the size of our organisation we’ve been able to have a presence in each of those government conversations through our aviation team or through the senior members of the UK business.
“We’re well-informed of where those discussions are.
“Obviously, many of those conversations are confidential but that gives us great confidence to open up a small programme to a couple of really key countries, eight key gateways for us.
“We have absolute confidence that we’re going to be getting a positive result from the government in time for July.”
Tui has not set a date for resuming long-haul trips.