Demand spike: UK airlines add thousands of seats to new green list destinations as flight prices more than triple

Jun 25, 2021

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On Thursday, British holidaymakers — and holiday providers — got some good news they had been waiting for with the announcement that England is adding 16 countries to its lowest-risk green list.

As of 4 a.m. on Wednesday 30 June, England is adding Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands (including Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera), Barbados and more to its green list, which doesn’t require a quarantine on return home. And, as such, holiday-starved Brits turned to searching for — and booking — holidays.

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Low-cost carrier EasyJet said shortly after the announcement that it would be adding more than 50,000 seats and more holidays to Malta and the Balearic Islands. In addition, the carrier said that it’ll launch new twice-weekly routes from Bristol (BRS) and London Luton (LTN) to Malta (MLA) on 9 July and 11 July, respectively.

Additionally, the carrier said that it will add more seats to Malta (MLA) on its existing routes from London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN).

“We really want to get back to what we do best and connect people across Europe so we welcome these additions to the green list and in response, we have put over fifty thousand more seats on sale to new and existing routes to green destinations,” EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement. “We now have around one million seats operating to current European Green list destinations this summer.”

Leisure carrier Jet2 has said that it’s putting more than 70 extra flights on sale to both Malta and Madeira in light of the green list announcement. The group’s CEO Steve Heavy said that the green list additions were a “welcome step in the right direction.”

TUI is expected to make an announcement on Friday with details of its revised flying plan in the aftermath of the green list additions.

According to the Mail, flights to a number of hotspots more than doubled — and sometimes tripled — in price following the announcement. For example, a flight in July to Ibiza went from £149 prior to the announcement to more than £300 for the same itinerary.

However, some within the travel industry were still asking for more in light of the green list announcement. Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said the list “fails to go far enough,” and called on the government to do more, including adding the U.S. to the green list.

As part of its announcement on Thursday, the government said that it will allow fully vaccinated Brits to skip quarantine when they return from amber countries. However, that rule is not set to be implemented until later this summer. When it does take effect, it will essentially extend the green list for fully vaccinated Brits.

Featured photo by ODD ANDERSEN/Colaborador/Getty Images.

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