Holiday firm Tui extends suspension of trips to Spain
Travel company Tui has extended its cancelation of trips to Spain and its islands.
It has now cancelled all holidays to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands until 10 August and all holidays to the mainland of Spain until 17 August.
The move is in response to advice against non-essential travel to Spain and a 14-day quarantine period for people arriving in the UK from Spain.
However, Tui is adding extra flights to destinations in Greece and Turkey.
The UK changed its guidance on travel to Spain after a spike in infections in some regions.
Tui said that customers affected would be able to cancel and receive a full cash refund. Alternatively, they can amend their holiday to a later date, or to a new destination.
Those already in the country can continue as planned, although earlier this week fellow tour operator Jet2 told some of its customers to return early from Spain.
Tui has also cancelled holidays to Cyprus until early August and to Bulgaria all year.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland, said: “Over 70% of customers with cancelled holidays moved to another destination over the same period or in the coming weeks.”
He added that the extra flights the company had added last weekend to Greece and Turkey had already nearly sold out.
The government should work towards a more targeted approach when deciding where to impose quarantine restrictions, Mr Flintham said.
“[We call upon} the UK Government to work closely with the travel industry and remove the ‘blunt tool’ approach to quarantine and consider the rapid introduction of regional Travel Corridors.
“The level of uncertainty and confusion created this week is damaging for business and customer confidence in travel.”
Jet2 also recently urged the UK government not to introduce blanket quarantine periods on whole countries.
On Thursday, Tui said it would shut 166 High Street stores in the UK and Ireland, affecting up to 900 jobs.
The decision was made after changes in customer behaviour, including a shift to online, the firm said.
About 350 retail stores will remain following the closures.
The company announced in May that it planned to cut around 8,000 jobs globally as it sought to reduce overhead costs by 30% in a major restructuring.
But as the coronavirus pandemic has drawn on, the shift to online has accelerated.