The travel industry is among a whole host of businesses to have been hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. With the UK now entering its sixth week of lockdown, the thought of travelling overseas will be something many may be dreaming of.
The Government is continuing to urge members of the public to stay at home in order to try to slow the spread of the virus.
And, the government advice for Britons remains that they should avoid all non-essential global travel.
While the ongoing situation develops, airlines have provided some updates on their plans for future travel.
So, what have some of the UK’s best-known airlines and operators said recently?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, TUI has cancelled holidays travelling on or before May 14, 2020.
They’ve also cut Marella Cruises sailings travelling on or before May 31, 2020.
Additionally, the operator has postponed the launch of TUI River Cruises until November 26, 2020.
TUI, easyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair customers may be among those wondering when they can fly again (Image: GETTY)
TUI says all other holidays are continuing to operate as planned, and these will be continuously reviewed.
A statement on their website says: “Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised against all but essential travel.
“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.”
easyJet has grounded its planes for the time-being, with flights not being considered before the end of May.
A spokesperson said: “The entire fleet of aircraft is being maintained in order to give us the ability to restart partially at around 14 days notice.
“It is likely that different countries and destinations will open up with various restrictions and on different timescales.”
The decision to ground the majority of its fleet from March 24 was announced last month.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said: “These are unprecedented times for the airline industry.
“We know how important it is for customers to get home and so are continuing to operate rescue flights over the coming days to repatriate them.
“Significantly reducing our flying programme is the right thing to do when many countries have issued advice to their citizens not to travel unless it is essential and the aircraft groundings will also remove significant levels of variable costs at a time when this remains crucial.”
Jet2 has also cancelled many flights due to the coronavirus crisis.
A Jet2.com and Jet2holidays statement addresses their plans to recommence flights.
It reads: “In view of the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to recommence our flights and holidays programme on June 17th.
Coronavirus: The COVID-19 pandemic is causing devastation the UK and on a global scale (Image: EXPRESS)
“We are keeping this decision under constant review, in line with guidance from Governments and the relevant authorities.
“Customers who were due to travel before this date do not need to contact us. We are proactively contacting customers in departure date order to discuss their options, one of which is rebooking their holiday to a later date.
“We know just how important holidays are to our customers, and how much they give customers something to look forward to, particularly during difficult times such as these.
“We recognise that these unprecedented events have had a huge impact on our customers, and we would like to thank them for their loyalty, understanding and patience.”
More than 99 percent of Ryanair’s flights have been grounded amid the crisis, the airline has said.
Ryanair is still offering rescue and medical flights to all EU Governments, and some skeleton flight schedules are being kept open to and from Ireland, the UK and Europe for emergency reasons.
Yesterday, Ryanair updated customers as its limited schedule was extended to Thursday May 14.
Ryanair has confirmed it is halting all commercial travel until June 17, following the government update, however some flights have continued to go ahead as part of a repattriation effort.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “As most EU countries have imposed flight bans or other restrictions, over 90 percent 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.
“All the aircraft are disinfected daily. With low loads, social distancing is being optimised on-board.
“We ask all passengers to cooperate fully with our crews who are doing their best in difficult times to maintain vital links to/from Ireland and to/from the UK to facilitate our passengers and their families to deal with emergencies that may require urgent travel over the coming days and weeks.
“Ryanair apologises sincerely for the unprecedented grounding of our aircraft fleet, and any schedule disruptions this may have caused, but we must all work together with EU Governments to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our citizens and our health services.”