A major travel operator has axed all its summer flights from Aberdeen, the Evening Express can reveal today.
TUI trips to Majorca, Tenerife, Ibiza, Turkey, Rhodes and Reus in Spain have been cancelled, throwing the summer holiday plans of thousands of north-east holidaymakers into chaos.
The firm blamed the “unprecedented halt of worldwide travel” due to Covid-19 on the cancellations – but said flights from Aberdeen International Airport in October have not been affected.
One holidaymaker, who was due to fly out to Majorca in September, said she was “appalled” about the way the travel operator has kept customers informed.
The woman, who does not want to be named, said: “If it wasn’t for the Evening Express telling me this, I would still be planning for and expecting our holiday to go ahead. Even now, they still haven’t officially contacted me to say the holiday is off.
“I am appalled it has taken so long for TUI to announce all summer flights are cancelled. We had to pay the full balance of our holiday just three weeks ago. They must have known then the holiday would be cancelled.”
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A TUI UK spokeswoman said: “In light of the unprecedented halt on worldwide travel, our teams have been busy reviewing and planning for travel post-Covid-19. We’re taking a dynamic approach to restarting our holidays, in line with government advice and the evolving demand for travel, focussing first on flying from our largest UK airports to destinations where we believe air bridge agreements will be in place.
“We’ve therefore had to make the incredibly difficult decision to cancel our summer flying programme from Aberdeen in 2020. However, we plan to resume flights from Aberdeen from October 4 2020 to ensure they are available in time for the half-term holidays.
“Throughout winter we’ll be running twice-weekly flights from Aberdeen to Tenerife and we will, of course, be welcoming Aberdeen back to our summer holiday programme in 2021, offering a fuller range of TUI destinations.”
Roger Hunt, interim managing director at Aberdeen International Airport, said: “The uncertainty for the airlines and passengers introduced by quarantine has unfortunately contributed to the decision by TUI not to re-commence flights for Summer 2020 from Aberdeen International Airport however it is pleasing that we can continue to offer passengers flights to Alicante, Malaga and Faro this year with Ryanair.
“We remain committed to working closely with our airline partners on the introduction of sustainable summer sun routes for Summer 2021 and beyond.”