By Andrew Atkinson
Leading commercial airlines TUI, Wizz Air, Jet2, BA, easyJet and Ryanair have either extended cancellations or re-scheduled flights amidst the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown.
“Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised against all but essential travel,” said a spokesperson from TUI.
“Unfortunately, this means that we’re no longer able to offer TUI holidays travelling on or before 14 May 2020 and Marella Cruises sailings travelling on or before 31 May 2020.
“We’ve also made the difficult decision to postpone the launch of TUI River Cruises until 26 November 2020,” said the spokesperson.
Hungarian carrier Wizz Air will re-start selected flights from London Luton airport on May 1.
They will initially operate flights to a small number of destinations – subject to no further restrictions.
Flights will depart to Budapest, Belgrade, Belgrade, Tenerife, Tel Aviv, Bratislava and Kosice. Several airports in Romania will also be receiving flights, including Cluj-Napoca, Constanta, Craiova, Iasi, Suceava, Targu Mures, Satu Mare and Timisoara.
Jet2 and Jet2 Holidays say they are to recommence flights from mid June.
“Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we’ve decided to recommence our flights programme on June 17 2020. If you’re travelling before this date, unfortunately, your booking will be affected as our flights won’t be operating.
“We’re proactively contacting all affected customers in departure date order, which we think is the fairest way – please be patient with us as we do this,” said a spokesperson.
BA is amongst airlines planning to offer flights to Israel in May. Direct flights to Tel Aviv are currently available to book on the BA website, with dates starting on May 16 2020.
All easyJet flights are grounded – until further notice. Holidays scheduled in May are under review.
Bookings made for June 2020 and onwards, are scheduled to go ahead as planned, with customers notified of and any changes.
“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, easyJet has decided to ground its fleet until further notice.
“We’re now working through how the coronavirus pandemic may impact future easyJet holidays and we’re looking at this in departure date order.
“We will communicate with those customers affected as soon as we can. Although out of our control, we’re really sorry that some holidays may be impacted,” said a spokesperson from easyJet.
Ryanair, who have grounded 99% of flights, currently operating a small number of emergency routes, have extended this arrangement until at least May 14.
Ryanair say if you have not received an email or SMS regarding cancellation, then your flight is operating as normal. Cancellation emails are being sent roughly two weeks before departure.
“As most EU countries have imposed flight bans or other restrictions, over 99% of Ryanair’s aircraft are grounded for the coming weeks. We will comply with these restrictions at all times.
“We are working with EU Governments to try to keep some minimum flight links open for emergency reasons, even though the passenger loads on these flights is very low.
“We are extending this limited schedule by two weeks to Thursday May 14. Ryanair is operating these flights daily or weekly,” said a Ryanair statement.
Ryanair have also confirmed a normal schedule of commercial flights will not commence, until June 17, 2020.