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Jet2 pushes back holiday start date due to travel uncertainty

Written by: Emma Lunn
The holiday firm has suspended flights and holidays until at least 23 June following the announcement by the government about plans for international travel.

A Tweet by the company linked to a notice saying: “Because of the continued uncertainty following the release of the Global Travel Taskforce framework, it is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23rd June 2021.”

Customers with bookings will have their holidays automatically cancelled and be issued with a full refund.

Steve Heapy, Jet2 chief executive, said his firm had studied the Global Travel Taskforce’s framework and is “extremely disappointed at the lack of clarity and detail”.

He said: “After several weeks exploring how to restart international travel, with substantial assistance and input from the industry, the framework lacks any rigorous detail about how to get international travel going again. In fact, the framework is virtually the same as six months ago.

“Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more.”

The government’s travel framework shows how travel could potentially resume from 17 May at the earliest.

A traffic light system will categorise countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel. But which countries will be in which category is not yet known. All UK arrivals will need to take pre-departure and post-arrival Covid-19 tests.

The government’s plans were also criticised by Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, said: “This does not represent a reopening of travel as promised by ministers, and the insistence on expensive and unnecessary PCR testing rather than rapid testing – even for low-risk countries – will pose an unsustainable burden on passengers, making travel unviable and unaffordable for many people.

“It is also a further setback for an industry on its knees and the UK’s wider economic recovery, with many businesses and exporters reliant upon our domestic and international connectivity and a thriving aviation sector.

“All the evidence suggests you can reopen travel safely and in a risk-based manner with more proportionate measures, and we urge government to work with industry on a faster, cheaper and less complex solution.”

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