Foreign holidays won't be back to normal until next spring due to travel restrictions, warns Wizz Air boss
A NORMAL holiday abroad may not be able to go ahead this summer, the boss of Wizz Air has warned, due to continued travel restrictions.
He said that due to the "still uncertain" summer, it could be next spring that holidays can go ahead like before.
The airline's CEO József Váradi said due to problems with the vaccine rollout as well as lockdowns and border closures still in place, airline capacity may not be able to be at a high enough level for summer holidays.
He told Bloomberg, after hoping that capacity could have increased to 80 per cent by the summer: "It might be possible to operate within these ranges, but we can’t guarantee it.
"It’s not a matter of capacity planning but governments imposing restrictions."
When discussing a rebound in demand for travel: "Whether this will happen over the summer or the winter or next spring, we don’t know."
The UK is looking at opening up holidays abroad next month, with "green" countries avoiding quarantine restrictions.
However, this is unlikely to include many of the popular holiday destinations for Brits.
The yet-to-be-announced "green" list is expected to include only Gibraltar and Malta in Europe, and not Spain, Greece and Italy, all of which are battling rising cases and a slow vaccine rollout.
Countries such as the US, Australia and New Zealand may also be on the "green" list – but are likely to remain closed to the UK until as late as next year.
It is hoped that a travel corridor could open up the UK and the US again this summer, with the country's borders still remaining closed.
Countries like Greece, Cyprus and Spain have said they will welcome vaccinated travellers this summer, along with Portugal and Bulgaria.
And while Wizz Air has said they are no longer optimistic about the return of travel, easyJet boss Johan Lundgren said he thinks "most of Europe" could be put onto the green list.
He said: "We would expect that, if the Government continues with the approach on the testing regime that they have said, I would expect almost all major European countries, that by the time it comes to travel reopening, that most countries in Europe should be in that category."
He added: "If the PCR test and the lateral flow test will need to be in place for 'green' countries, I couldn't see that there would be many countries in Europe that wouldn't be in the 'green' category."
Countries on the "green" list won't face quarantine but will need a negative PCR test before returning to the UK, as well as a second one on day two.
Countries on the "amber" and "red" list will face mandatory quarantine restrictions when returning to the UK, either at home or at the quarantine hotels, costing £1,750 per person.
Friedrich Joussen, who runs TUI, says the firm is "optimistic about the summer" and that Brits can avoid another holiday washout due to the vaccine rollout.
Jet2 is less optimistic about summer trips, with the airline cancelling all flights and holidays until June 23.
Here is how to book a summer holiday this year while protecting your money if it doesn't go ahead.
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