Jet2 has pushed back its summer programme to July, following the Government’s traffic light review, which saw Portugal moved to amber and no new destinations added to the green list.
The company announced in April it wouldn’t start its summer 2021 programme until 24 June, citing uncertainty over international leisure travel, which at the time was banned from the UK.
Its flights and package holidays will now restart on 1 July, with the exception of Jersey, which will restart on 24 June and Turkey, which will now resume on 22 July.
Announcing the new dates, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy took a swipe at the Government’s decision to move Portugal from green to amber after just three weeks.
Mr Heapy 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.
The UK Government has repeatedly stated that it is making decisions based on infection and vaccination rates, yet many destinations continue to be left off the green list, despite having low infection rates and high vaccination rates.
“When you apply the Government’s own criteria for making decisions about travel, we simply cannot understand why more destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are not allowed to open to UK holidaymakers.
“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.
“The UK Government has committed to reviewing its traffic light status of overseas destinations every three weeks.
“We will 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.
“We know that there is enormous pent-up demand for our flights and ATOL protected package holidays. Our customers want nothing more than to get away.
“We know international travel can restart safely, so we urge the Government to urgently reconsider its approach and work with the industry to help us achieve that.”
Jet2 said affected customers will be refunded, while those currently booked to amber-list destinations between 1-21 July will be able to amend their booking.
Meanwhile, TUI has told Travel Gossip it will still fly to Portugal, as the Foreign Development and Commonwealth Office (FDCO) still allows non-essential travel to the destination. But TUI said customers that don’t wish to travel can change their holiday to another date.