Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has pushed its plans to restart its flight and holiday programme to July after the government’s decision to remove Portugal from the UK’s green list cast fresh doubt on summer leisure travel.
The airline and operator had been hoping to restart on 24 June, but with no viable or recognisable destinations featuring on the green list, it has brought its plans to resume operations in line with the government’s planned reviews of its traffic light regime.
Reviews will take place every three weeks, with the next set of changes – if there are any – likely to take effect on 28 June. A decision on any additions to the green list, or movement between traffic light categories, could come on Thursday 24 June.
Owing to its red list status, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has decided to extend its pause on flights and holidays to Turkey to 22 July. Its Jersey programme, though, will restart on 24 June as planned.
"We know how disappointed our customers and independent travel agency partners will be following today’s announcement, and we share their concerns and frustrations," said Jet2.com and Jet2holidays chief executive Steve Heapy.
"The UK government has repeatedly stated it is making decisions based on infection and vaccination rates, yet many destinations continue to be left off the green list despite having low infection rates and high vaccination rates.
"When you apply the government’s own criteria for making decisions about travel, we simply cannot understand why more destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are not allowed to open to UK holidaymakers."
Heapy said Jet2 was now seeking "complete openness and transparency" from the government on its data so travellers and the industry can "understand what is driving these decisions".
"We agree public health must be the number one priority," said Heapy. "However, despite all the evidence and data showing travel can restart safely and at scale, the UK continues to remain largely grounded while the rest of Europe opens up."
Any Jet2 customers affected by the airline and operator’s latest changes to its programme will automatically have their booking cancelled and be issued a refund. Customers booked to travel to amber list destinations between 1 July and 21 July can amend their booking free of charge.
Heapy added: "The UK government has committed to reviewing the traffic light status of overseas destinations every three weeks. We will review our programme and policies in line with that timetable and we will continue to make considered decisions in the best interests of our customers and independent travel agency partners."