TUI has announced plans to restart summer holidays to eight destinations in Greece, Spain and the Canaries from July 11.
The operator is concentrating on destinations where it anticipates air bridges will be in place by its restart date, managing director Andrew Flintham said.
Phase one of the planned restart will see up to 8,300 holidaymakers travelling to Ibiza, Palma, Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Lanzarote and Tenerife from TUI’s three biggest UK airports, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.
By the end of July, TUI plans to offer holidays to up to 19 destinations from up to five UK airports, subject to Government advice.
The operator has implemented a range of new health and safety measures to protect customers and staff and has also introduced the new TUI Holiday Promise, to give travellers extra peace of mind.
Health and safety measures include mandatory face masks on board and hand sanitiser sachets available to passengers.
Hotels will have social distancing markers on the floor, table service will replace self-service in many properties and restaurants may have fewer tables and will stay open for longer. Sun loungers at pools and beaches will be disinfected between each new guest.
TUI’s Holiday Promise includes the guarantee: “We promise you’ll have a brilliant TUI holiday. If there are any significant changes at your hotel, resort or destination which will stop this from happening, we won’t take you there.”
It also says: “We promise we’ll be in contact as soon as we can if your holiday can’t go ahead due to Covid-19. We’ll offer you the opportunity to change your booking to a different holiday. Or, you can take a refund credit note or a full cash refund.”
TUI UK and Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham said: “We’re of course still waiting on the Government to change its travel advice but we’ve been working really hard behind the scenes and we’re ready to start taking holidaymakers away again in just a few weeks’ time.
“Initially, we are focussing on destinations where we anticipate air bridges being in place, such as Greece and Spain.
“But we know many Brits are eager to travel again, and we have ambitious plans to rapidly increase our programme as soon as possible, to offer even more choice when it comes to holidaying this summer.”