Britain’s biggest tour operator has said that it is offering more July holidays than previously indicated.
It was thought that only three UK airports and four islands in each of Greece and Spain would be offered.
But while 96 per cent of Tui’s planned trips have been cancelled in July, some of its holidaymakers with existing bookings will be able to travel.
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Fifteen weeks after the firm’s last arrival in the UK touched down at Birmingham airport, Tui will resume operations from the Midlands hub – as well as Gatwick and Manchester – on 11 July 2020.
For the first two weeks Tui will fly only from those three airports to Ibiza, Mallorca, Lanzarote and Tenerife in Spain and Corfu, Crete, Kos and Rhodes in Greece.
Two more airports, Bristol and Glasgow, will rejoin the network from 25 July. Nine more destinations are due to be added to the list of holiday spots; the firm has not yet confirmed them.
In addition, holidays involving “third-party” flights – usually seats booked on easyJet departures – will be able to go ahead from a range of UK airports from 11 July onwards.
As easyJet is cancelling 70 per cent of its summer flying programme, though, many of those holidays are likely to be cancelled. Customers can choose between a full refund or rebooking with a bonus of up to 10 per cent.
But one bemused passenger has received an email from Tui saying that his holiday in Menorca will go ahead on 11 July – with the flight operated by an airline that went bust 15 weeks ago.
Gary Benham from Andover received an email from Tui saying he would be aboard flight BE9130 from Southampton.
The company added: “We hope you have a fantastic time.”
Flybe ceased trading in the early hours of 5 March. While some rumours are circulating that it may be revived, there is no possibility the defunct carrier will be operating this summer.
A spokesperson for Tui said: “We’re investigating why a confirmation email was sent overnight as this holiday will be unable to go ahead.”
Any new bookings with the company for July will be using Tui flights only, but from August packages using “third-party” flights will be on offer.
All Tui holidays are contingent on the current Foreign Office travel advice against all-but-essential foreign travel being eased, and holidaymakers being able to avoid quarantine on their return home.
So-called “air bridges” may be set up to dodge the current requirement for two weeks of self-isolation for all arrivals to the UK.
Separately, Malta is opening up to international flights from Britain on 15 July.
Flights from countries with a lower prevalence of coronavirus will resume on 1 July.
Tolene van der Merwe, UK director of the Malta Tourism Authority, said: “We should be able to welcome back travellers from the United Kingdom on 15 July if the FCO advice has been amended by that date.
Our streets have been too quiet recently and the people of Malta are keen to welcome back tourists.”
Meanwhile five Air Malta flights a week from London are continuing, only Maltese nationals and residents can travel to the island.
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