Tui has confirmed it has joined Manchester Airports Group and Ryanair in its legal action against the government.
It comes after BA and Virgin Atlantic announced last week they were also joining the legal challenge, which is calling for a judicial review over the new traffic light system’s “lack of transparency”.
Court papers officially filed on Thursday (17 June) argue the government’s reasons for their decisions on a country’s traffic light status are “undisclosed and the decision-making process lacks transparency in a fundamental way”.
Tui’s UK boss Andrew Flintham confirmed the tour operator was joining the action, in a speech at Abta’s Travel Matters.
“I think we have reached the end of our tether. We have always said working with government is the way forward but getting to the point of having to take legal action is showing that frustration.
“We have worked incredibly hard with the government, but their decisions do not reflect that,” he added.
“The government has absolutely prioritised domestic over international travel. It is not proportionate around the way other countries are behaving.”
Flintham also criticised the no show of aviation and maritime minister Robert Courts who had been due to give an address on recovery of UK aviation and travel but failed to appear due to a "diary clash".
"It is incredibly disappointing that the Aviation Minister didn’t come and speak with us all today," he told delegates. "There is no doubt the government needs to listen to what we have to say – and once again this feels like another sign they’re not."
Flintham also expressed frustration at the UK’s cautious approach to international travel compared with its European counterparts. “Why are we not up and running when everyone else in Europe is up and running?” he demanded.
He admitted "the Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge like no other".
And said he believed many businesses were “perilously close” to failing and he foresaw numerous failures if the government doesn’t deliver support to the industry soon.
“When you look at us as an industry, yes I think there are many businesses that are perilously close to failing and every week that goes by pushes those people towards that sad situation,” he said.
Elsewhere Flintham confirmed Tui wouldn’t be putting on programmes to Amber-listed destinations.