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A British Airways A380 at LAX (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Greg Linton)

British Airways Increases Frequencies to Leisure Destinations in Response to New Travel Guidance

British Airways has announced that it will be adding more than 90,000 seats to leisure destinations in June. The news comes as the U.K. government has given Britons the green light to travel abroad starting May 17.

The extra flights are primarily to Greece and The Canary Islands, both popular destinations for tourists in Europe. The airline said in a press release that the new services are in response to “overwhelming interest” from customers on its website.

The oneworld carrier will tack higher frequencies onto 26 destinations. These include popular holiday hotspots such as Lanzarote in Portugal and Heraklion and Paphos in Greece, which will see an extra weekly flight.

Similarly, Tenerife, Bodrum in Turkey and Kefalonia, Kalamata and Rhodes in Greece will see two more flights a week. Finally, the Greek destinations of Corfu, Chania and Thessaloniki will see three more weekly flights.

All additional services are from Heathrow, which has seen a leisure surge following a worldwide reduction in travel.

At the end of April, the airline had announced a series of new routes to Eastern Europe. British Airways timed these routes to Poland, Romania and Latvia to allow for long weekend leisure trips.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances, said, “It’s clear Britons are hoping that their favorite destinations will be open by the time summer comes. We want to provide them with access to book seats to the places they love to help them get away, and trust that if they can’t travel, we will be there for them with incredible flexibility to make changes to their bookings.”

The extra travel frequencies to Greece and the Canary Islands will be available for travel between June 21 and September 5. Bodrum flights will begin on July 18.

However, Turkey being on the list may be a surprise, as the government placed the country on the red list last week.

New Travel Rules for England

On Friday, the U.K. government announced that traveling abroad would no longer be illegal for England as the nation rebounds from its third lockdown. The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, also set out a so-called “traffic light” system to place more stringent border measures on the worst affected countries.

The lightest, green measures include testing both before departing for and on arrival in England. Amber measures include further testing and a ten-day quarantine, with red-list rules using a managed hotel quarantine.

Shapps said twelve countries were on the green list initially. Currently, over 40 countries are on or about to move onto the red list.

The countries and territories the government first placed on the green list are: Australia, Brunei, the Falkland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Portugal and Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

The status of places will be reviewed every three weeks, with watch lists for those countries in warning areas with regard to infection rates.

Government Vaccine Certification

The Transport Secretary also announced that English residents could use the NHS App to verify their vaccination status. Residents can also request a paper copy through the health service.

Shapps said the government “is working to develop global standards for digital travel certification” in his press conference.

A globally recognized system is likely to be preferred to those currently being trialed by airlines. These include CommonPassVeriFLY and an IATA app.

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