LONDON – The good old days are back for the UK tour operator airlines, as the UK Government has announced a new policy to scrap Covid tests and self-isolation.
This is provided that travelers are fully vaccinated as per the UK government’s recognized vaccination list.
Leading Jet2 and Jet2 holidays have reported a “notable increase in demand for holidays and flights” after new covid policies were revealed by the cabinet, said CEO Steve Heapy.
Traditional sunshine destinations like Spain, Spanish Islands, Italy, and Portugal, which are famous amongst British travelers are seen getting a boost again post the new policy announcement.
The new policy has been welcomed with open arms by senior executives and management personnel amongst regional holiday airlines, as they see light at end of the tunnel after 2 years of heavy losses and struggle in maintaining the travel confidence amongst its customers.
After the announcement, Mr. Steve Heapy, CEO for Jet2 and Jet2holidays expressed his excitement by saying, “Before yesterday’s announcement demand was already strong, however, bookings have jumped by another 30 percent when compared with the previous week, demonstrating just how much of a game-changer the removal of all testing is for fully vaccinated holidaymakers.”
“With international travel starting to look like it did before the pandemic, customers are jumping at the chance to book their flights and holidays.”
As the excitement continued across the industry, Mr. Bixby from EasyJet holidays shared his views by adding, “Reykjavik, The Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, and Turkey proved particularly popular with those booking a getaway.”
“We know from our own research that there is pent-up demand for travel and yesterday’s news proved this as we saw a significant increase in holiday bookings less than 24 hours after the announcement, with strong demand for city breaks.”
Another major player in the holiday market, Tui’s Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Flintham shared his views by saying, “we expect holidays bookings for this summer to be back to pre-pandemic levels.”
“The relaxation of testing rules has already resulted in an increase in bookings, with customer confidence growing every day in recent weeks.”
“We now look to the governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to adopt the same approach. Many families look to go on holiday over the February half-term, so we are delighted these changes will come into effect in time.”
“Going abroad will finally start to feel more normal again and without the added expense of testing.”
Transport Secretory Grant Shapps asserted that the change in rules will bring international travel and thus the airlines back on track, to its “Good Old Days”.
Mr. Shapps told LBC, “You will be able to come to this country, and if you’ve been fully vaccinated, in other words, two vaccinations, you will not need to take any tests at all, either before you leave to come here or when you get back here.”
“Of course, no quarantine. In other words, kind of back to the good old days.”
Mr. Shapps also asserted that the UK is set to recognize vaccine certificates additional 16 countries, in order to reconnect key markets and boost the economy. but keeping the primary objective to take the aviation industry back to the skies.
Furthermore, this policy announcement has brought back signs of joy and excitement amongst the aviation industry and its stakeholder. Heathrow Airport, The Travel Network Group, and other para-industry associates have all joined the celebrations.
Heathrow Airport’s Chief Executive Mr. John Holland-Kaye welcomed this news with most optimism. In his interview with Sky News Mr. Holland-Kaye said:
“We need to get the tests lifted at the other end of the journey because for most countries you might need to go to you will still need testing before you’re allowed into those countries. So that’s something we’ll work on.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Garry Lewis, Chief Executive from The Travel Network Group, the largest representing body of 12,00 travel business in the UK expressed their views by saying, “The removal of all testing for double-jabbed travelers feels like a significant moment for the industry and another positive step on the road back to recovery.”
“We’ve already seen the green shoots of growth as holidaymakers look with confidence to book a holiday in 2022 and this is another shot in the arm. Confidence is returning and, although we’re not yet out of the woods, this is welcome news for our industry.”