Tui will offer British holidaymakers cut-price Covid tests following the government’s announcement earlier this week that vaccine passports would not be ready in time for the resumption of international travel.
The British airline said it would slash the cost of mandatory PCR tests for travellers returning to the UK to £20 under new plans to drive up summer bookings.
Government approved PCR tests for holidaymakers returning to Britain currently range anywhere between £60 and £120.
The company said it will make a series of testing packages available to customers from next Monday, including one for £20 for those travelling back to the UK from countries on the government’s travel green list.
This will contain a rapid lateral flow test to be taken before boarding a UK-bound flight, alongside a PCR test to be used within two days of arriving back in the country.
Passengers travelling to amber destinations on the government’s travel list will pay £50 per person for the required pre-departure lateral flow test and two PCR tests upon return.
Customers will be able to order the tests on a newly created booking hub created in partnership with Chronomics, the government’s authorised test provider.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, recently halved the cost of Covid test kits to £60 for UK-based customers.
The government is expected to unveil its traffic light system for travel tomorrow. Destinations on the green list are expected to include Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel and some Spanish and Greek isles.
It comes after Number 10’s announcement earlier this week that NHS-approved vaccine passports were unlikely to be ready for the lifting of the ban on foreign holidays on 17 May caused uproar among holidaymakers and travel businesses.
Aviation chiefs last night urged the government to abandon the “illogical” plans, warning that the government “risks closing the UK off from the rest of the world”.
In a joint article for the Daily Telegraph, the chief executives of British Airways, Heathrow, Easyjet, Manchester Airport Group and Jet2 accused ministers of an “overabundance of caution” compared to other EU countries that jeopardised British travellers’ holiday plans.
“Travel even from green countries will still require arrivals into the UK to take a ‘gold-standard’ PCR test… a huge barrier to travel for most people and despite assurances from the government that tests would be affordable,” they said.