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easyJet A320 resting at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale)

easyJet Increases Capacity as Spanish Islands Added to U.K. Travel Green List

The U.K. Government have added several popular holiday destinations to the ‘green list’ of countries that do not require self-isolation or quarantine upon return to the U.K.. Malta and the Balearic Islands which include Menorca, Majorca and Ibiza are the more high profile summer destinations that made the list in a late evening media release.

In response Travel Weekly reports U.K. airlines have increased capacity with easyJet planning to add tens of thousands of extra seats to satisfy expected demand. Palma on the island of Mallorca will be served by the UK’s largest airline with 82 flights per week over the summer from ten U.K. airports.

easyJet Chief executive Johan Lundgren said, “We really want to get back to what we do best and connect people across Europe so we welcome these additions to the green list and in response we have put over 50,000 more seats on sale to new and existing routes to green destinations. This includes brand new routes from Bristol and Luton to Malta, meaning we now have around one million seats operating to current European green list destinations this summer.”

News of the revision of countries on the government’s controversial traffic light system fell far short of industry expectations. The manner in which the information was released also drew criticism from travel industry representatives. The Independent reported one senior travel industry executive as describing the government communication as “disgraceful”.

Though the addition of Malta and the Balearic Islands to the green list is seen as a positive, it by no means provides confidence to those wishing to travel to visit family and friends or holiday over the summer. In the initial release of ‘green list’ countries, Portugal saw a significant number of UK citizens book and travel only to be caught out when the country was moved down to ‘amber’ in the second revision three weeks later. In the current revision Israel has been downgraded from ‘green’ to ‘amber’ highlighting the reticence passengers may have for booking international travel.

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps did provide a glimmer of hope for the industry by acknowledging plans for vaccinated travellers to travel with limited restrictions. In a BBC News report Mr Shapps said: “We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully-vaccinated U.K. arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.”

No dates were given for how and when any relaxation for vaccinated travellers may be implemented nor whether other countries would reciprocate unrestricted arrivals for vaccinated UK travellers.

The next review of the U.K. ‘traffic light system’ is expected on 15 July a few days prior to the planned lifting of internal restrictions in the UK. It should however be noted that the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may not follow those of the Westminster government and may have different restrictions imposed.

Author

  • John has always had a passion for aviation and through a career with Air New Zealand has gained a strong understanding of aviation operations and the strategic nature of the industry. During his career with the airline, John held multiple leadership roles and was involved in projects such as the introduction of both the 777-200 and -300 type aircraft and the development of the IFE for the 777-300. He was also part of a small team who created and published the internal communications magazines for Air New Zealand’s pilots, cabin crew and ground staff balancing a mix of corporate and social content. John is educated to postgraduate level achieving a masters degree with Distinction in Airline and Airport Management. John is currently the course director of an undergraduate commercial pilot training programme at a leading London university. In addition he is contracted as an external instructor for IATA (International Air Transport Association) and a member of the Heathrow Community Fund’s ‘Communities for Tomorrow’ panel.

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