The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) has labelled Tui’s withdrawal from Aberdeen this summer “a bitter blow” for agents.
Tui’s services to destinations including the Spanish hotspots of Majorca, Tenerife and Ibiza have all been cancelled, with flights due to resume again in October.
SPAA president Joanne Dooey called the decision “simply appalling news” for Scottish consumers and travel agent members alike.
Dooey said Spain’s omission from the Scottish government’s quarantine exemption list, published on 8 July, had led to “insecurity for both holidaymakers and the travel trade”.
“We have been warning for weeks about the possible loss of flight routes and the impact this will have on travellers and the Scottish economy, not just for this summer but potentially for years to come,” she said.
Dooey questioned whether seasonal routes would be reinstated.
"The travel sector is a close-knit community and we all feel for our friends and colleagues at Tui as we know this will have been an extremely difficult decision for them, however, we fear this may not be the last announcement of this kind in the sector," she said.
A Tui spokesperson said: “In light of the unprecedented halt on worldwide travel, our teams have been busy reviewing and planning for travel post-Covid-19.
"We’re taking a dynamic approach to restarting our holidays, in line with government advice and the evolving demand for travel, focussing first on flying from our largest UK airports to destinations where we believe air bridge agreements will be in place.
“We’ve therefore had to make the incredibly difficult decision to cancel our summer flying programme from Aberdeen in 2020. However, we plan to resume flights from Aberdeen from 4 October 2020 to ensure they are available in time for the half term holidays.”
Tui said it would operate twice weekly from Aberdeen to Tenerife this winter and bring Aberdeen back for summer 2021, “offering a fuller range of Tui destinations”.