Tuesday 30 June 2020 9:22 am

Tui UK boss calls on ministers to give clarity over 'air bridges'

The UK boss of Europe’s largest holiday company has called on the government to provide certainty on “air bridges” this week to allow Brits to go on holiday.

Ministers are expected to provide further details of the plan this week, which will lift blanket 14-day quarantine measures for European countries such as France, Spain and Greece.

Read more: Greece extends ban on flights from UK

An announcement had been slated for yesterday, but was not forthcoming. The changes are expected to be brought into effect from next week.

Speaking to the BBC, Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK, urged the government to provide further details as soon as possible.

“We really do need that certainty, so if mid-week or Wednesday, or whenever it’s going to be, if the government can give us that list of destinations we can go to”, he said.

He added that there would likely be “a few bumps in the road” in discussions with other countries after Greece last night said flights from the UK would not be permitted until 15 July. 

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The Mediterranean country had been expected to allow all flights from 1 July, meaning the decision has caused considerable disruption for those who had already booked holidays. 

Health secretary Matt Hancock told LBC that details would be provided this week, with authorities expected to introduce a traffic light system that will class countries based on the prevalence of coronavirus. 

“Red” will mean visitors will need to self-isolate on return from that country, “amber” will mean visitors can travel at their own risk, and “green” will mean the country is deemed safer than the UK.

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has heralded the coming months as the summer of the “staycation,” travel sites have been flooded with bookings for international getaways from British holidaymakers.

Read more: Spain to make UK air bridge decision ‘within hours’

Tui said bookings were up 50 per cent week-on-week, while Hays Travel, which purchased Thomas Cook after its collapse last year, said the phones “had not stopped ringing”.

Online travel site Travelsupermarket reported that this weekend had been the busiest for bookings since the start of lockdown, with searches doubling and bookings increasing by 50 per cent.