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No ‘big increase’ in summer holiday prices ahead of green travel list – Tui

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Prices for summer breaks have not been ramped up ahead of the Government’s announcement of the green travel list, the UK’s largest holiday firm insisted.

Tui’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, Andrew Flintham, said it will be “a long time” before travel companies can consider boosting profit margins.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Our prices are very, very stable. They’re pretty much like for like, flat, year over year. There isn’t a big increase in there.

“We’ve got plenty of holidays to sell. I think everybody in the industry has.

“It’ll be a long time before the idea of trying to increase prices to make more money. We want to get people away on holiday, having a great time, because we think they genuinely all deserve it.”

The Government will shortly announce which foreign destinations holidaymakers from England can visit from May 17 without needing to quarantine on their return.

Portugal, Iceland and Malta are among those expected to be on the green list.

Gibraltar and Israel could also make the cut when the list is published on Friday following weeks of speculation.

Global Covid-19 cases and deaths
(PA Graphics)

Air fares to Portugal have already started to soar as airlines respond to high demand.

British Airways is charging £530 for a flight from Heathrow to the Algarve on May 17, compared with £276 two days earlier.

A Ryanair flight from Stansted to Lisbon costs £262 on May 19, more than double the price of £128 on May 14.

Quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements for people arriving in or returning to England once foreign holidays are permitted will be based on a new traffic light system, with destinations placed on green, amber and red lists.

In addition to not needing to quarantine on their return, people arriving from a green list location will also only be required to take one post-arrival test.

Those returning from an amber list country must self-isolate for at least five days and take a minimum of two tests.

Most popular European destinations, such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece, are initially expected to be on this list, but could switch to green ahead of the peak summer holiday months.

Returning from a red list country involves an 11-night stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

Destinations will be categorised based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Luis Gallego, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, urged the Government to “be a bit ambitious in getting global travel back on track”.

He wants people who have been vaccinated or tested to be allowed to fly “without restrictions” between the UK and the US.

The airline said it will launch a new advertising campaign on Friday featuring staff who are “preparing to return to work after a very difficult year”.

No plans for the resumption of foreign holidays have been announced by the UK’s devolved administrations.