TWO major travel and holiday companies have slightly differing opinions on prospects this summer for UK holiday-makers seeking a Spanish and European sunshine break.
Budget airline WizzAir says their plans to increase services over the next few months to above pre-pandemic levels ‘cannot be guaranteed’ due to fears of governments continuing to impose travel restrictions.
On the other hand, travel operator TUI says that they ‘feel optimistic’ about the summer because of the vaccination programme.
Jet2 said earlier this month that their flights and holidays from the UK will not resume until June 17 at the earliest, with TUI not planning to restart before May 15.
WizzAir has been increasing its portfolio of routes with the airline planning a 10% hike on its services prior to March 2020 numbers.
It’s chief executive officer, Jozsef Varadi, said: “We need to reconcile these increased numbers with reality. We cannot guarantee an increase in services due to uncertainty over governments imposing restrictions.”
“We cannot forecast what will happen over the next three to four months, but we only expect a gradual recovery in our programme into the late summer,” he added.
Varadi did say that he was still confident of a rebound but wasn’t sure whether that would be over this summer or next spring.
His caution contrasted with that of TUI boss, Friedrich Joussen.
In a BBC interview, Joussen said:-”Bookings in March alone hit 2.8 million and we expect to run up to 75% of our normal schedule over the summer season.”
“We are still confident that we will have a decent summer thanks to COVID vaccinations in the UK, Europe, and the United States.”
Joussen did appeal though for governments to make PCR tests as affordable as possible, a call echoed by UK travel agency, Hayes Travel.
It’s rumoured that a number of major tour companies and airlines are to partner up with a COVID testing company to offer half-price tests for people flying back into the UK.