UK, airlines in chaos after the travel stop
The closure of the UK borders until the end of June triggered an earthquake in the plans of the British airlines. A few hours after the announcement of the extra measures by the Johnson administration, British Airways suspended all summer flights already planned and their respective bookings mostly directed to European tourist destinations. The same decision was also carried out by easyJet and other British companies.
Communications from the government, which on April 12 will have to decide on the postponement of the reopening plan or not, are not reassuring to the carriers. The Minister of Health, Lord Bethell, even feared the closure of the borders towards those European states where the variants of COVID continue to increase infections. There seems to be a concrete possibility, therefore, that most European countries will be included by the United Kingdom on the “red list” which prohibits travel.
The cancellations by British Airways and easyJet are obviously already causing heavy protests from travelers who had reservations for the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Italy. A spokesperson for the airline that is part of the IAG holding explained that anyone who finds him or herself with a cancelled flight can ask for a refund.
British Airways, like other British carriers, await the new decisions of Boris Johnson’s administration task force which, again on April 12, should reveal the plans of the traffic light system in which travel to the red list countries will remain prohibited, the yellow countries will require quarantine, and green list destinations should only require vaccination tests and/or certificates to get the go-ahead for travel. In any case, it is becoming increasingly difficult for airlines to plan summer without certainty about which and how many countries will be visited by British tourists, as well as the dates for the reopening of the borders.
It was just a few weeks ago, the British government’s announcement of a four-stage plan for reopening had spiked air ticket bookings for the summer. The coronavirus continues to surprise.