A number of the UK’s major airlines and operators have set out their plans to restart flights and holidays to several of the destination’s featuring on the UK government’s first "green list" – countries without no return quarantine requirement.
Tui, Wizz Air, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, and easyJet and easyJet holidays, were among those early out of the blocks late on Friday (7 May) and over the weekend follow transport secretary Grant Shapps’s long-awaited traffic light announcement.
In the end, despite speculation it could extend to between 25 to 30, a total of 12 countries and territories made the government’s green list, including Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel; arrivals from green list destinations won’t have to quarantine, but will have to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test by the end of the second day of their return.
Tui said it was upping flights and holidays to the Algarve and the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira and the Algarve, with new departures from Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
It will put on additional weekly Gatwick and Manchester flights to Funchal from 21 May to 29 October, and extra twice-weekly Birmingham flights on Mondays and Fridays from 17 May to 29 October, opening up 10- and 11-night holiday options.
To Faro, serving the Algarve, Tui will offer an additional weekly flight from Bristol, operating every Thursday from 20 May to 28 October. It comes in additional to tui’s 11 weekly Faro flights already on offer from its other UK bases, flying on Thursdays and Sundays.
Tui is offering free changes on bookings to green list destinations through to 31 August. Managing director Andrew Flintham said a spike in demand for Portugal came as no surprise, adding the operator’s vertically integrated model put it in a unique position to respond to customer demand.