By Andrew Atkinson

John and Irene Hays, owners of Hays travel, said some of the 878 jobs at risk at the company could be saved – if the UK Government introduces Regional travel corridors to the Spanish islands – after it announced the axing of hundreds of jobs amid ministers re-imposition of a blanket quarantine on arrivals from Spain on July 25, a severe blow to the industry this summer.

Hays, Britain’s largest independent travel agent, have called on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to save summer after announcing that up to a fifth of their 4,500-strong workforce face the axe.

The decision sent sales back to where they were at the start of the March coronavirus lockdown after demand had totally collapsed, Ms Hays said.

Coupled with a gradual tapering off of the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme, it left Hays with no alternative but to announce cuts: “When Spain was cancelled down at such short notice it had an impact on customer confidence more widely.

“People who were just beginning to get their confidence back – that situation changed overnight. It took us back to where we were in April,” said Ms Hays.

Deserted streets in Benidorm. Photo: courtesy Martin Dean.

Jet2 and TUI announced that the airlines were to cancel flights to Spain. Jet2 announced they will not to fly from Manchester to Alicante-Elche airport, that has had a visible effect on the Costa Blanca south, until August 16.

Benidorm is amongst the cities and towns feeling the backlash as summer holidays were cancelled.

“Benidorm is dead – I’ve never known it so quiet,” tourist Bob told The Leader.

Martin Dean from Benijofar told The Leader: “At the moment some shops are that quiet they are almost giving items away.”

Bars, restaurants and hotels, that had announced they were reopening on August 1, have had to do a U-turn, due to the lack of holidaymakers visiting, in the wake of the UK Government 14 days isolation measures.