TUI cancels holidays to Balearic and Canary Islands until next Tuesday as UK’s Spanish quarantine batters travel firms
The move follows the travel giant’s decision to cancel all holidays to mainland Spain until August 10 following the introduction of the new restrictions.
Travellers who were due to travel to Spain between July 26 and August 9 will be able to amend or cancel their booking and either receive a refund or rebook at a later date.
The decision of the government to bring back the measures, through which arrivals from Spain will be forced to quarantine for 14 days, has caused an outcry in the travel sector as the industry struggles to recover from a collapse in demand earlier the year as the pandemic closed borders, grounded aircraft and left cruise ships sitting in port.
John Holland-Kaye, the boss of Heathrow airport, which has seen passenger foot traffic collapse during the pandemic, falling 96% in June, said a passenger testing regime will need to be put in place to avoid playing “quarantine roulette” with travellers returning from abroad.
Speaking to the BBC, Holland-Kaye said an alternative was needed to the 14-day quarantine “fast” and that he wanted the government to work with the company to set up testing sites “within weeks”.
However, UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden poured cold water on the idea, saying the country is “not at the point where there is a viable alternative to the 14-day quarantine” and there is no “silver bullet” to solve the crisis.
Airline stocks were under pressure in lunchtime trading on Wednesday following the Heathrow passenger figures, with British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (LON:IAG) down 1.9% at 186.4p while budget carrier Ryanair Holdings plc (LON:RYA) dropped and 3.4% to €10.76 and easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) fell 0.8% to 541.2p.
Meanwhile, shares in TUI were up 0.1% at 320p while Dart Group rose 1.2% at 671.5p.