TUI boss warns they could be next airline to cancel flights due to Covid

TUI has warned that it could be the next business to cancel flights because of the new Omicron variant.

The announcement by TUI Group chief executive Fritz Joussen follows decisions by both Ryanair and British Airways to drop a number of flights over the next few months.

It is reviewing whether to cut the remainder of its winter programme in light of the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus and a fourth wave of the pandemic.

He said: "There will be flexibility in deciding whether to offer winter programme capacity at the lower end of the range depending on the so-called fourth corona wave and possible policy decisions with regard to the Omicron variant.

"Capacity plans are regularly reviewed and adjusted."

The group is currently planning for winter programmes at between 60 and 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

However, the holiday giant was optimistic about next year's summer holidays – saying it hoped 2022 bookings will rebound near to levels seen before the pandemic.

It is expecting summer 2022 will see a bounce-back close to 2019 bookings, but stressed customers are continuing to book later and at short notice.

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British Airways cancels thousands of flights until March

The government has brought in new restrictions in recent weeks, thanks to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

All vaccinated travellers returning to the UK are required to take a pre-departure Covid test and a PCR test within two days of landing in the UK, self-isolating until they receive a negative result.

There are different rules for children and unvaccinated adults – find out more here.

The UK's travel red list has also been revived, with 11 countries currently on the list.

Many countries have also moved to tighten their borders, including Brit holiday favourites like Spain, France, Portugal and Germany.

British Airways has slashed more than 2,000 flights from its schedule until March.

The cutting of flights is down to a reduced demand for air travel thanks to the pandemic.

The decision has affected both domestic routes like London to Belfast and transcontinental flights like London to Cape Town. Affected passengers will be able to receive a full refund or swap flights.

Meanwhile, Ryanair cancelled all flights to and from Morocco until February 1 next year.

The Moroccan government has put a ban on overseas flights until next week as the world races to contain the new Omicron variant, but Ryanair has decided to extend the timeframe due to "a lack of clarity" from the country.

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