TUI’s Commercial Director Richard Sofer has given the strongest indication yet that the company will begin flights this July.
In a statement released this morning, Sofer explained that the UK’s fourth largest airline will begin operations from July 11 if COVID-19 deescalation plans stay on track.
From their bases in Manchester, Birmingham and London Gatwick, Sofer plans to serve eight short-haul destinations using UK PM Boris Johnson’s proposed ‘air bridge’ plans.
This will include Spain’s Mallorca and Ibiza, Tenerife and Lanzarote as well as the Greek destinations of Crete, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu.
Due to the brand’s position in the UK travel market, Sofer is confident that their proposed date of July 11 is well founded on the notion that the UK’s 14-day quarantine on arrivals will be lifted.
“Due to the size of our organisation we’ve been able to have a presence in each of those government conversations through our aviation team or through the senior members of the UK business,” said Sofer.
“We have absolute confidence that we’re going to be getting a positive result from the government in time for July.”
Currently, TUI airlines are advertising flights beginning July 11 on the company’s website.
TUI’s announcement comes after the President of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol announced that the Balearics will be the first destination in Spain to open its borders to international tourists.
The plan, involving test flights containing 10,900 tourists from Germany, involved strict government imposed guidelines and rules regarding length of stay and accommodation.
However, the pilot scheme was halted before it left the ground as the TUI owned Eurowings failed to gain the correct authorisation from the central government to land.