London Luton Airport (LTN) based easyJet issued a statement on Thursday saying that it added 105,000 extra seats on flights between the United Kingdom and Portugal. By doing this, the low-cost carrier now offers more seats on flights to green list countries than any other UK airline. Following the United Kingdom government’s announcement on May 7 about which countries UK citizens and residents are allowed to travel to without quarantine on their return, we have seen a huge surge in bookings to Portugal.
When overseas travel opens up to UK citizens and residents on May 17, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveiled a list of counties where COVID-19 rates are meager. Some of these countries still have COVID-19 rules in place or are just not feasible destinations due to their lack of tourist infrastructure or difficulty getting to and from.
The three standouts on the green list are Portugal, Gibraltar, and Israel. Israel is currently experiencing daily rocket attacks that have forced many airlines to suspend flights, and Gibraltar is just too small. This means that Portugal and its Algarve beaches are in huge demand for British vacationers.
The UK’s three-tier system
Based on a traffic light with red, amber, and green, the UK has ranked countries based on the rate of COVID-19 infection and vaccinations.
Green list countries
People traveling to green list countries do not need to self isolate on their return home but are still required to take a COVID-19 PCR test before and after their trip.
Amber list countries
People returning from countries on the UK’s amber list will be required to self-isolate for a minimum of ten days. Unlike people returning from red list countries, amber returnees can self isolate at home or wherever they are staying.
Red list counties
Except for returning British or Irish citizens and residents, traveling to the UK from a country on the red list is forbidden. Any UK or Irish citizen or resident returning from a country on the red list must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for ten days at the cost of £1,750 per head.
Pent-up demand for vacations
Following a year of lockdowns and restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, easyJet says there is a pent-up demand for travel to green list destinations this summer.
To help Brits get away on a long-awaited summer holiday, easyJet has put an additional 105,000 seats on sale from UK flights to Gibraltar and Portugal. This includes a further 25,000 seats and package holiday flights from the UK to Portugal.
With fares starting from £29.99 ($42.29) and package holidays available from £350 ($506) per person, easyJet has flights to Gibraltar and Portugal from ten UK airports that include London Gatwick, London Luton, and Manchester.
easyJet summer 2021 flights to Portugal:
- Belfast International Airport (BFS) to Faro Airport (FAO) operating twice a week on Sundays and Thursdays
- Bristol Airport (BRS) to Faro Airport (FAO) operating three times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
- Bristol Airport (BRS) to Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (FNC) operating weekly on Sunday
- Bristol Airport (BRS) to Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) operating weekly on Saturdays
- London Gatwick Airport (LGW) to Faro Airport (FAO) operating up to three times a week
- London Gatwick Airport (LGW) to Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (FNC) operating once a week on Sundays
- London Gatwick Airport (LGW) to Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) operating up to three times a week on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays
- London Gatwick Airport (LGW) to Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) operating three times per week on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) to Faro Airport (FAO) operating three times a week on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
- London Luton Airport (LTN) to Faro Airport (FAO) operating once a week on Saturdays
- London Luton Airport (LTN) to Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) operating twice a week on Sundays and Mondays
- London Luton Airport (LTN) to Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) operating on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
- Manchester Airport (MAN) to Faro Airport (FAO) operating daily flights between the north of England and the Algarve
- Manchester Airport (MAN) to Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) operating three flights per week on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday
More counties to be added to the green list
When speaking about easyJet’s summer flights to Portugal in the company statement, UK Country Manager of easyJet Ali Gayward said:
“We know how much people are longing for a getaway, so we’ve increased our flights to Green list destinations to take as many customers away as possible to reunite them with friends and family or on a long-awaited holiday this summer. We can’t wait to take our customers to Portugal, a popular summer destination that offers something for all types of travelers.
“We are committed to a safe restart and are confident this can happen while protecting our customers. We also expect the number of countries on the Green list to grow next month to enable safe travel to many of our popular European summer destinations, and we have flexible policies so customers can book with confidence and change their plans if they need to.”
With Portugal being the standout destination on the UK’s green list, we expect to see seats on summer flights selling fast.
Are you planning a Portuguese getaway with easyJet this summer? If so, please tell us where you are going and why you chose the destinations in the comments.