Jet2 chief Steve Heapy has called on the government to “get a move on and be brave” with its international travel policy in order to give the industry the chance of a “half-decent summer”.
Heapy, chief executive of tour operator Jet2holidays and low-cost airline Jet2.com, said he felt the summer season still had potential to be “quite promising” if the green list was expanded and plans being worked on to allow fully vaccinated Brits returning from amber countries to skip quarantine were put in place soon.
“If we can get those two things, then the industry will have a half-decent summer,” said Heapy, speaking to TTG from Jet2’s new airport base at Bristol.
“In terms of forward bookings, we saw a huge surge from last Thursday evening (25 June) when the government put more destinations on green list. For those destinations sales are still very strong indeed.
“When there are more green countries and the policy for fully vaccinated travellers from amber countries not needing to quarantine is sorted, I’m sure we’ll see similar spikes to any destinations people can go to. We’re just waiting for the government now.”
Heapy urged minsters to introduce the amber quarantine exemption policy by the reported 26 July date, saying it “isn’t too late” to save the summer.
“It’s never too late but the longer they leave it, the less promising the summer will be. If we did get it for the 26 July that would be a decent result but the longer they [government] leave it, the less we can capitalise on it.”
Heapy took aim at comments from Boris Johnson on Thursday (1 July) when he branded having two Covid jabs “a liberator” for international travel.
“He [Johnson] said two jabs is a great liberator but my mum and dad have had two jabs for four months now and they haven’t experienced much liberation," he countered.
“In theory it is a great liberator but how about you put your money where you mouth is and liberate us? It’s all very well talking about it and it’s mañana, mañana – but they need to get it done.”