Just weeks after getting back into the air, British low-cost airline Jet2 is busy canceling flights in the wake of a British Government warning against non-essential travel to Spain. It is bad news for the airline that usually does a roaring trade flying sun-starved Brits south. Those already in Spain are getting told to pack their bags and come home early before flights end.
Jet2 only recently back in the air
Jet2 may not have a high profile outside its region, but the Leeds headquartered low-cost carrier is Britain’s third-largest airline. The airline operates both scheduled and chartered flights to sunny places with a fleet of predominantly 737 aircraft.
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Jet2 flights only resumed flying earlier this month as travel restrictions across Europe eased.
“We have been saying for some time that the sun will shine again and that when it does, we will be there to take customers away on their well-deserved holidays,” said Jet2’s CEO, Steve Heapy, at the time.
But not everything is going to plan. Brits who packed their bags and headed off to warmer climes are now getting contacted and told to come home early.
British Government advises against non-essential travel to Spain
The British Government is currently advising against travel to Spain and has added the country to its list from where returning travelers must self isolate for 14 days. It has thrown a spanner in the works for Jet2. It has also upset a lot of Brits currently warming their toes down in Ibiza. Following the government decision, the airline has canceled all flights to mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands.
Travel on outbound Jet2 flights to their many Spanish destinations has collapsed. Unfortunately for Jet2, holidaymakers already in Spain are all booked to return across a large number of flights and on different dates.
“We are operating empty outbound flights to pick up customers from these destinations,” Jet2 told the BBC. It isn’t something the airline can continue to do.
“It is important to note that we are responding to a very fast-moving situation with updates coming from the government with little or no notice, and we have had to make decisions about our program accordingly,” Jet2 said.
Jet2 will keep flying into Spain until Monday
Jet2 will keep operating flights up to August 3 to repatriate holidaymakers back to the United Kingdom. After that, flights and holidays to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Majorca, Menorca, and Ibiza stop until August 9. Flights and holidays to Costa de Almeria, Alicante, Malaga and Murcia will cease until August 16.
Understandably, a lot of folks holidaying in Spain are unhappy their holidays are cut short. Jet2 is taking some flak. It is slightly undercutting the airline’s recent trumpeting regarding its wins in the 2020 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for Airlines. Jet2 won Best Airline – UK, and Best Low-Cost Airline – Europe categories, among others. But there might be fewer five-star reviews for Jet2 next week.
It’s an evergreen issue, especially with low-cost carriers, but some disgruntled passengers are complaining of price hikes for return tickets and delays with refunds on canceled holidays.
“We’ve got six days left of our holiday, and we’re now forced into rebooking flights with Jet2 that are £300 more expensive than my original flights.
“There’s been no explanation. It’s absolute profiteering. Who’s policing this?” Jet2 passenger Anna Boyne complained to the BBC from Santanyí.
Jet2 will continue to fly passengers back from Spain until Monday. After then, the airline advises they will have to find alternative ways home.