Update: Jet2, easyJet and TUI cancel holidays to Rhodes after Brits are forced to evacuate hotels

Rhodes travel ban
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Update: Jet2, easyJet and TUI cancel holidays to Rhodes after Brits are forced to evacuate hotels

Tour operators have cancelled flights and holidays to Rhodes after wildfires in the southern part of the Greek island forced hundreds of British holidaymakers to flee from their hotels.

Jet2 initially cancelled five flights today, but it has since confirmed that it has extended the cancellation to all flights and holidays up to and including Sunday 30 July.

Planes will go out empty to bring customers back on their scheduled flight, it said.

Customers affected by the cancellations will be given a full refund and an opportunity to rebook, added Jet2.

EasyJet is continuing to operate to Rhodes as normal, but it has cancelled package holidays departing today (Sunday) and tomorrow. It said it was contacting customers due to travel up to 29 July to discuss their options.

It has also confirmed that flight-only customers due to travel up to 29 July can transfer to another date or they can take a flight voucher for the value of their unused flights by calling easyJet customer services.

In a statement, easyJet said it was in contact with customers in resorts in Rhodes, adding: “We are working round the clock’ to arrange transfers, manage our customers’ flights, and return customers to hotels when it is safe to do so.”

TUI has cancelled all outbound flights to Rhodes up to and including Tuesday 25 July. It said customers already in Rhodes will return on their intended flight home. Those due to travel on Wednesday are being offered a fee-free transfer to another holiday.

In an update posted on its website at midday on Sunday, TUI said: “The situation in the Southeast part of Rhodes, due to the wildfires on the island, remains changeable and challenging.  

“We are aware that many of our guests are now located at evacuation centres or found temporary shelter at other hotels. We are relentlessly working on improving the situation for our guests and our teams are working closely with the local authorities.

“We’re gathering as much information as we can, and actively calling guests to update on their circumstances. We are bringing in additional support staff on empty incoming flights, and we are trying to actively source hotel accommodation in the unaffected parts of the island.

“Please follow advice of local authorities. If you are at an evacuation center, please approach our TUI reps on site and ensure they can collect your contact data, scheduled departure times, missing documents, etc. Regularly check the TUI App for updates. If you change your location, please inform our TUI reps. Try to keep at least one cell phone charged at all times, so we can contact you if needed.

“Please rest assured we are doing everything under difficult circumstances to improve the situation. Your safety and well-being is a top priority and we will continue to update you as soon as we have new information available.”

Last night, the Greek Government said it was putting plans in place to evacuate foreigners.

Hotels affected

The affected areas Kiotari, Lardos, Gennadi, Pefkos and Lindos. The wildfires are still raging between Kiotari and Gennadi and parts of some hotels in these areas have been partly damaged.

Hotels that have been evacuated include Mitsis Rhodos Village, Rodos Maris, Lindian Village, Lindos Imperial, Mayia Exclusive Resort and Spa, Boutique 5 Hotel & Spa and Princess Andriana, according to Craig Vikors of hotel representation company Galaxi, who has been in touch with a local company in Rhodes.

Some agents have posted online to say their clients were forced to flee hotels on foot and have been given no information from their tour operators.

What Jet2 says

In a statement issued this morning, Jet2 said its resort teams ‘are working hard to comply with the guidance of local authorities’.

It added: “We are continuing to bring more customer helpers and colleagues into the area to provide further assistance.

“We continue to ask customers in affected areas to follow the advice of both the local authorities as well as staff in their hotels, who are acting under the advice of the authorities.

“We are contacting all customers in affected areas as quickly as possible by telephone so that we an support them with what they need.

“We are sending direct communications to affected customers to let them know this and to remind them of our 24/7 customer helpline.”

This article was updated at 14:00 hours on 23 July 2023

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