Many UK airlines have grounded flights following Boris Johnson’s announcement that the country was being plunged into another lockdown.
New government advice on international travel, which affects services from Birmingham Airport, says: “You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.
“If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.”
Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said the news was “bleak” for airline passengers and called for improved roll-out of pre-departure testing and the vaccine.
These are the latest announcements from main airlines that operate from Birmingham Airport:
Airline and tour operator Jet2 and Jet2holidays suspended winter sun flights to the Canary Islands, Madeira and Turkey until February 12 “due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and government travel restrictions”.
The UK’s biggest tour operator confirmed that all holidays would be cancelled and refunds offered.
“We’ll update customers due to travel from Wednesday January 6 until mid-February in the coming days. If holidays are cancelled, customers will receive a full refund or incentive to amend to any holiday that’s currently on sale.
“Customers currently overseas can continue to enjoy their holidays as planned and we will update them directly if there are any changes to their holidays.”
The airline and its holiday business has pledged to contact customers with their options within the coming days.
A spokesperson said: ”We will be contacting customers whose holidays can no longer go ahead with the option of cancelling for easyJet holidays credit which can be used to rebook an alternative holiday, or customers can choose a full refund back to their original payment method.
“We’re really proud that we’ve been able to average 12 days to process refunds. We will also be in touch with customers with later departure dates to remind them of our easyJet holidays protection promise which offers ultimate flexibility and reassurance.”
Ryanair has yet to comment following the latest lockdown announcement.
The budget airline’s most recent communication came after flights had to be axed after a number of countries amid concerns over the new covid strain.
It said: “Ryanair is processing cancellations for all flights to/from the UK that have been banned by EU governments regulation. All affected customers will receive an email notification and they will be offered practical alternatives including a free move or refund if they so wish.
“A small number of flights will operate to/from the UK primarily to facilitate UK passengers stranded abroad and to support passengers who need to travel for essential reasons.
“For passengers (booked on these operating flights) who do not wish to travel prior to January 17, Ryanair will facilitate a flight change, where no change fee will apply (any difference in fare will be charged), to any new date up to March 15, 2021. Any passenger whose flight has been cancelled can also move to these operating flights, subject to availability.
“All flight changes can be made directly on Ryanair.com.”