While the UK’s current restrictions limit international travel, Germans are flocking to Mallorca. Jet2 CEO said he was “bewildered” over why Britons couldn’t fly to those destinations.
Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy said: “When you take the UK Government’s own criteria for deciding where holidaymakers can travel to, and apply it to the Balearics, we are left bewildered as to why we cannot fly there.”
Mallorca, which has been a favourite destination of British tourists for decades, is currently on the amber list.
Travel there is not advised and a 10 day quarantine is required on return to the UK.
Manchester Airport Group’s CEO, Charlie Cornish, said EU countries were taking a more positive approach to resuming international travel.
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“Hundreds of thousands of people from places like Germany are travelling freely and safely to low-risk holiday destinations,” he said.
But as Covid-19 rates are lower than ever in Mallorca, German tourists have started arriving in large numbers.
Currently, tourists arriving in Mallorca only need to show a negative antigen test or proof of vaccination.
Palma de Mallorca Airport reported that last month 397,931 tourists arrived from Germany on 3,363 flights, while only 5,813 UK tourists arrived on 333 flights.
A British expat and bar-owner in Ca’n Picafort, Mallorca, said that with Britons still advised not to travel there, his business is struggling.
“If it weren’t for the Germans, we’d be broke. Ca’n Picafort is rammed with Germans,” he said.
Earlier this week, easyJet announced it was increasing capacity from Germany to Mallorca, to cope with the holiday demand.
“We’ve just recently added 150,000 seats from Berlin into Palma to try meet the huge pent-up demand that has been released from those restrictions lifting,” said easyJet Holidays’ CEO Garry Wilson.
“It is a shame we can’t do the same for UK customers, because we know demand is there,” he said.
The absence of British tourism has angered MAG boss, Charlie Cornish, who said that the UK does not take into account the low virus rates in other countries.
“The Government’s lack of transparency is unacceptable and makes operating a business in the travel sector almost impossible after what has already been the most challenging year in our history,” he said.
Jet2 CEO said he hopes the Government reviews its decision after June 24, when the travel list review is due to take place.
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“If Malta, Balearic and Canary Islands continue to have low infection rates, I expect them to be on the list. If they are not – we expect an explanation.”
MAG together with Ryanair has taken legal action against the Government over the traffic light system. They are suing the Government for the lack of transparency when it comes to deciding which countries qualify for the green list.
The Government has said to be considering the idea of allowing fully vaccinated Britons to travel without having to quarantine when they return from amber list destinations.
Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “We don’t want to get left behind by countries who are adopting a two-jabs approach if it can be done safely.”