Covid: Airline bosses ‘bewildered’ Majorca not on green list as German holidaymakers flock to destination

German tourists have started arriving in Majorca in large numbers in recent weeks, and only need a digital pre-registration and either an antigen test or proof of vaccination

The Government has been criticised by the bosses of Jet2 Easyjet and Manchester Airport for not putting the Balearic Islands, including Majorca, on the green travel list.

People in the UK cannot currently travel to the popular destination of Majorca for holidays, but chief executive of Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has said EU countries were taking a more positive approach to resuming international travel, including Germany.

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German tourists have started arriving in Majorca in large numbers in recent weeks, and only need a digital pre-registration and either an antigen test or proof of vaccination (Photo: Shutterstock)

At a glance: 5 key points

- The boss of Jet2 said he was "bewildered" over why people from the UK couldn't fly to destinations in the Balearic destinations

- A limited number of countries are currently on the Government's green list

- The Spanish island of Majorca - which is popular among UK tourists - is currently on the amber list. This means travel to this destination is not advised and quarantine is required on return to the UK

- Covid rates are lower in Majorca than in the UK and in recent weeks, German tourists have started arriving in Majorca in large numbers. German travellers only need a digital pre-registration and either an antigen test or proof of vaccination.

- MAG has joined with airline Ryanair to launch a legal action against the Government over its traffic light system

What’s been said

Jet2 and Jet2 Holidays' chief executive, Steve Heapy, said: "When you take the UK government's own criteria for deciding where holidaymakers can travel to, and apply it to the Balearics, we are left bewildered as to why we cannot fly there.”

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airport Group (MAG) said: "Hundreds of thousands of people from places like Germany are travelling freely and safely to low-risk holiday destinations.”

He added: “"The government's lack of transparency is unacceptable and makes operating a business in the travel sector almost impossible after what has already been the most challenging year in our history.”

Steve Heapy, boss of Jet2, said: "Other nationalities are going, German customers are arriving on jumbo jets that are being put into Majorca and hotels are filling up.

"Hotels will give rooms in the future to these other nationalities and British tour operators and customers could be squeezed out.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "Our first priority is protecting the public and saving lives, and the traffic light system we have in place categorises countries and territories based on risk, using the latest data.

"As set out in the Global Travel Taskforce, we continue to engage with international partners to explore how we can open international travel safely."

Background

Palma de Majorca Airport confirmed to the BBC that during May, 397,931 tourists arrived from Germany on 3,363 flights. In contrast, 5,813 UK tourists arrived on 333 flights from UK airports.

Earlier this week, Easyjet announced it was increasing capacity from Germany to Majorca, in order to cope with a rise in demand for holidays to the destination.

Garry Wilson, chief executive of easyJet Holidays, said: "We've just recently added 150,000 seats from Berlin into Palma to try meet the huge pent-up demand that has been released from those restrictions lifting.

"It is a shame we can't do the same for UK customers, because we know demand is there."

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