Jet2 suspends flights until late June due to 'lack of clarity' from government 2 months ago

Jet2 suspends flights until late June due to 'lack of clarity' from government

Going abroad remains a complicated mess as Jet2 suspends flights until June

While holidaymakers were looking at a provisional date of May 17th for when they could next book a flight abroad, it seems the travel industry could look to push that back over the government's current foreign travel plan.

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Aside from the ongoing concerns surrounding the safety of vaccinations, it seems Jet2 are the first to blink, as the company's CEO, Steve Heapy, has said: “We have taken time to study the Global Travel Taskforce’s [GTT] framework, and we are extremely disappointed at the lack of clarity and detail."

This comes after Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, spoke on BBC Radio 4 this morning. During his interview, he revealed the government's current plans for allowing people to resume international travel, which includes a traffic light system based on the risk associated with travelling to different countries.

The system

  • Green: No self-isolating. Take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of your arrival in the UK.
  • Amber: You must self-isolate for 10 days unless you have received a negative result in the last five days since your arrival. Pre-departure and PCR tests also required on day two and day eight of arriving back in the UK.
  • Red: 11 days in a 'quarantine hotel'. Pre-departure and PCR tests mandatory on day two and day eight back in the UK.

Even with the new traffic-light system in place, it is still unclear as to when an official date for the resumption of foreign travel will be put in place. The Department for Transport has said "it is too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer, and the government continues to consider a range of factors to inform the restrictions placed on them".

The response

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Heapy went on to say: "Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more.

"After several weeks exploring how to restart international travel, with substantial assistance and input from the industry, the framework lacks any rigorous detail about how to get international travel going again. In fact, the framework is virtually the same as six months ago.

"Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more."

"Because of the continued uncertainty that the framework provides, it is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23rd June 2021."

Nevertheless, concern and frustration are running throughout the travel sector over inadequate communication. Earlier this week, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) voiced their complaints too.

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They stated that although "it is good to see that the [GTT] has developed a ‘traffic light’ system [...] it is hugely disappointing that the proposed framework includes no provision for a return to restriction-free travel, either now or in the future when the conditions are judged to be appropriate."