Tour operator giant Tui has revealed details of a limited programme of summer holidays in preparation for when government advice not to travel is lifted.
The firm says it is “ready to take Brits on holiday again”.
Eight destinations are in line for a return on July 11 in Greece, the Balearics and the Canaries with flights operating from three UK airports.
In phase one of the planned restart up to 8,300 holidaymakers could travel on up to 44 flights per week to Ibiza, Palma, Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Lanzarote and Tenerife.
Tui plans to add more flights and destinations by the end of July to offer a total of 19 destinations from five UK airports, subject to Government advice.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland said: “We’re really excited to be talking about taking people on holiday again.
“We’re of course still waiting on the government to change its travel advice but we’ve been working really hard behind the scenes and we’re ready to start taking holidaymakers away again in just a few weeks’ time.
“Initially, we are focusing on destinations where we anticipate air bridges being in place, such as Greece and Spain.
“But we know many Brits are eager to travel again, and we have ambitious plans to rapidly increase our programme as soon as possible, to offer even more choice when it comes to holidaying this summer.
Flintham added: “We appreciate that some people may be feeling apprehensive towards travel and have questions about what a post-COVID holiday will be like, which is why we’ve introduced our new Tui Holiday Promise.
“It provides holidaymakers with five guarantees we’ve made to keep them safe abroad, while reassuring them that we’re still providing relaxing and enjoyable holidays.
“If a destination has a quarantine in place, we won’t go there. If local restrictions or measures in place at hotels or resorts significantly impact the original holiday experience you booked, we won’t take you there.
“We’ll apply every possible health and safety measure to keep our customers and staff safe and protected at every single stage of their journey. We’ll also make sure we keep in touch and are as flexible as we can be if people need to amend their holidays.”
Which? Travel edtor Rory Boland said: “As these trips are set to start in just three weeks, and some people are still paying thousands of pounds in holiday balances, the government has to begin telling holidaymakers what is going on.
“If Tui can be given assurances that holidays can restart, then so should the public, who currently have no idea if their trips will go ahead this summer, because they have been told nothing.
“The government needs to immediately clarify when it will review its indefinite advice against non-essential international travel, or we risk a return to the chaos caused at the start of the outbreak.”
New health and safety measures implemented by Tui
To prepare for the restart, Tui has implemented a range of new health and safety measures to protect both customers and employees.
Tui flight health and safety measures:
- Mandatory face masks on board
- Extra cleaning and disinfecting of aircraft
- State-of-the art hospital standard air filtering systems to keep fresh air flowing through the cabin every few minutes
- Hand sanitiser sachets available to customers on board
- Customers advised to remain seated as much as possible with cabin crew managing bathroom queues
Tui in-destination health and safety measures:
- Hand sanitising stations set up throughout hotels
- Social distancing markers on the floor
- Restaurants may have fewer tables and will stay open for longer
- In many properties, table service will replace self-service dining
- Resort facilities, like sports courts, may be open for longer than normal to allow for social distancing
- Sun loungers at pools and beaches will be disinfected between each new guest
The Tui Holiday Promise
To give customers peace of mind, Tui has introduced a Holiday Promise based on the following five commitments:
- Tui standards guaranteed: We promise you’ll have a brilliant Tui holiday. If there are any significant changes at your hotel, resort or destination which will stop this from happening, we won’t take you there;
- 24-hour support: We promise you’ll be supported 24-7 by our holiday reps. Simply download the Tui app or have a chat with our expertly trained staff in your hotel or resort;
- Quarantine-free holidays: We promise we’ll only take you on quarantine-free holidays. This means we won’t travel anywhere with known isolating measures in place;
- No holiday, no worries: We promise we’ll be in contact as soon as we can if your holiday can’t go ahead due to COVID-19. We’ll offer you the opportunity to change your booking to a different holiday. Or, you can take a refund credit note or a full cash refund;
- We’ve got covid-19 covered: We promise to introduce extra measures to protect you, as well as us, against COVID-19 – from disinfecting the aircraft cabin to making sure our hotels are deep-cleaned before they reopen.
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