Gary Holmes, Travel Consultant at Not Just Travel, rounds up the latest developments in the world of business travel as we move out of lockdown…
Tour operators open up, but has Spain?
Tui expects its UK tour operations to be sending holidaymakers abroad “later in the summer”. The message came as the travel giant partially restarted its summer 2020 programme from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland to a limited number of destinations from mid-June and the beginning of July.
Easing of travel restrictions in Europe has enabled the initial restart with two flights from Germany to Majorca on Monday.
Confusion over Spain’s rules for British holidaymakers has been sparked by conflicting messages by officials.
Hopes rose when prime minister Pedro Sanchez announced over the weekend that Spain’s borders would reopen to travellers from all EU countries on June 21, with the exception of Portugal.
And on Monday evening, a Spanish government spokeswoman confirmed to the BBC that the UK would be added to a list of countries whose citizens could travel to Spain.
But Spanish foreign affairs minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya later appeared to give new guidance on the travel rules for UK travellers arriving in the country.
She suggested that the country may impose a two-week quarantine on British travellers if the UK maintains its current travel restrictions.
The new stance was apparently prompted by the UK government imposing a two-week quarantine on international arrivals.
The future for Virgin Atlantic and the airlines
Two of the bidders for Virgin Atlantic have reportedly opened talks to submit a joint proposal to save the carrier.
Former Monarch owner Greybull Capital and US hedge fund Elliott could join forces as they compete with investors such as Davidson Kempner Capital Management, Sky News reported.
Virgin Atlantic is trying to secure a financial rescue package worth more than £500 million, with the end of June serving as an informal deadline for having an outline deal agreed.
The airline hopes to secure private investment alongside taxpayer support and drew up a revised proposal to government earlier this month.
EasyJet and Airbus have reached an agreement on revised delivery dates for 24 aircraft originally due to arrive between 2020 and 2022
The delivery of eight of 32 deferred aircraft had already been moved from 2020 to 2022, and easyJet confirmed on Tuesday that the remaining 24 will be delivered between 2025 and 2027.
BA fights back
IAG chief Willie Walsh has strongly rejected claims from MPs that British Airways is a “national disgrace” over the treatment of its staff during the lockdown.
Walsh, chief executive of the BA parent company, hit back after the Commons transport committee condemned the airline’s plans to axe up to 12,000 workers and to consult on changes to terms and conditions for many of the remaining 30,000 staff.
He rejected the findings in a letter to committee chairman Huw Merriman MP, according to newspaper reports today.
He emphasised that BA “is fighting for its survival, in the face of overwhelming and unprecedented challenges, while respecting the fundamental British value of the rule of law. This is not a disgrace. Lying down and surrendering without a fight would be a disgrace and we will not do that.”
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