UK travel latest – Jet2 airline restarts flights to Turkey as it finally comes off red list – Birmingham Live

Jet2 has announced its reaction to the latest UK travel update, which has seen the traffic light system of green, amber and red lists scrapped in favour of a “simplified” approach.

The airline and package holiday firm will now be restarting flights to the country, a hugely popular holiday spot for millions of Brits.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the new international travel rules for England, coming in from October 4, mean there is only a red list, with other countries given the okay for getaways.

In addition, eight countries and territories will come off the red list from Wednesday, September 22 at 4am, including Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives.

READ MORE: See how the travel updates unfolded with news and reaction in our live coverage here

News that Turkey has come off the red list was a relief to holidaymakers and travel firms.

It has spent all summer in the no-go category. The nation was added to the high-risk category in May and has been mainly off-limits to UK travellers since then – wiping out the nation’s vibrant tourism industry and the holiday plans of millions of potential visitors from Britain.

An average 2.3 million UK tourists a year jetted to its resorts before the pandemic but data showed it should be moved to the amber list.

In response to yesterday’s travel update, Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said they would be restarting flights to Antalya and Dalaman from September 23, including from Birmingham Airport.

READ MORE: Met Office issues Birmingham weather warning as heavy rain forecast this weekend

Mr Heapy gave his full reaction to the huge changes, saying: “We have seen demand step up over the last few days, and there has been an immediate and massive surge in bookings for flights and package holidays on the back of this welcome news for holidaymakers in England.

“We expect the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to update their advice too and we look forward to this.

“Although it has been a long time coming, we are extremely pleased that the Government has finally committed to reopening international travel properly.

“Holidaymakers will be frustrated that these changes come too late for the peak summer holiday period, but we know how delighted they will be that their holidays are no longer subject to a set of restrictions that are completely out of step with other areas of everyday life.

“Having to take a pre-departure test in resort, along with an expensive PCR test after returning to the UK, has unfairly penalised hardworking customers and families for far too long. Although the removal of these burdens is welcome news and a step in the right direction, more can still be done.”

He added: “The Traffic Light system has been confusing and completely unfit for purpose since day one. We welcome a new approach which is easy for everyone to understand and provides certainty.

“With Turkey coming off the Red List, we will be restarting flights and holidays to Antalya and Dalaman from Thursday 23rd September. We are delighted to be restarting this programme and with great deals to be had, we know there will be phenomenal demand for late-summer sunshine, October half-term breaks and winter sun. The same applies to the 40-plus destinations we are operating to.

“The desire to get away for a well-earned holiday in the sunshine has never diminished, however harsh and unfair restrictions have remained a barrier for some.

“Now many of these restrictions have been removed, the rush in bookings for flights and package holidays to sun, ski and leisure city destinations tells us just how much holidaymakers have been longing to get away. Holidays mean so much to everyone, and we cannot wait to take our customers away on them.”

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