A number of airlines and travel companies have rescheduled their holiday programs after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office, or British Foreign Office, advised last week against all non-essential travel “indefinitely.”
This department of the Government of the United Kingdom said: “Sometimes we say that only essential travel is advised. Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision. You may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. Circumstances differ from person to person. Only you can make an informed decision based on the risks.”
Ryanair will be grounding 90% of their flights in the coming weeks as they continue operating on a limited schedule. The budget airline also confirmed to the ECHO, they are still operating on their earlier policy which suggests flights will not restart until June.
A statement said: “As most EU countries have imposed flight bans or other restrictions, over 90% of Ryanair’s aircraft are grounded for the coming weeks… We are today (April 6) extending this limited schedule by a week to Thursday, April 16.”
In a previous statement regarding cancellations, Ryanair said: “At this time, no one knows how long this Covid shutdown will last. The experience in China suggests a 3-month period for the spread of the virus to be contained and reduced. We do not expect to operate flights during the months of April and May at this time, but this will clearly depend upon Government advice, and we will in all cases comply with these instructions.”
EasyJet stated they have not set a date as to when their flights will be restarting. Currently, customers cannot book a flight for April.
A spokesperson told the ECHO: “At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights as this will depend on national travel restrictions and customer demand. We have an ongoing rolling cancellation program in place and have taken April off sale so more customers cannot book onto flights during this month. Once a flight is cancelled, we will inform passengers and provide them with their options.”
In a statement responding to the update on non-essential travel, Jet2 said they will restart their flights and holidays in June. The airline and package holiday company revealed that they would be restarting flights on June 17. But anyone with holidays or flights booked before then has had their booking cancelled.
The statement said: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we’ve decided to recommence our flights program on June 17, 2020. If you’re travelling before this date, unfortunately, your booking will be affected as our flights won’t be operating.”
Beach holidays up to and including May 14 and Marella Cruise holidays up to and including May 31 will no longer operate because of the indefinite non-essential travel warning.
They said: “These are uncertain times for all of us, and we don’t underestimate the impact on those of you with holidays booked. For that reason, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel all holidays up to and including May 14. Our travel promise still stands, as it’s important for us to give you the holidays you deserve. This means you can amend all holidays up to June 30th for free, even if you are due to travel between April 17 and May 14.”
A spokeswoman said: “We are constantly monitoring the situation and will start taking people on holiday again as soon as we are able to do so.”