TUI Greece flights and holidays update as hotels in southern Rhodes evacuated amid wildfires

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More than 20,000 people have been involved in evacuations on the island of Rhodes

TUI has issued an update to customers due to travel to Rhodes in the coming days and weeks as wildfires continue to burn on the Greek island.

Authorities have said more than 20,000 people have been involved in evacuations on the island - most tourists over the weekend - as raging fires swept through two coastal areas on the south east of Rhodes.

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Evacuation orders have also been issued on the islands of Corfu and Eviva after temperatures rose above 40C again in parts of Greece earlier this week.

TUI has said it is continuing to closely monitor the wildfires in Rhodes (Photo: Adobe)TUI has said it is continuing to closely monitor the wildfires in Rhodes (Photo: Adobe)
TUI has said it is continuing to closely monitor the wildfires in Rhodes (Photo: Adobe) | Markus Mainka - stock.adobe.com

The severity of the wildfires in Rhodes has led some holiday operators to cancel flights and holidays, meaning thousands could see their summer travel plans scuppered.

But the UK Foreign Office is not formally advising against travel to Greece, with holidaymakers instead told to check with their travel operator if they are heading to any areas affected by wildfires.

The government has also recommended that anyone going to Greece has “appropriate insurance” which should “cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency”.

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Travel firm TUI has said it is continuing to closely monitor the wildfires in Rhodes, leading to the evacuation of several hotels in the south of the island and forcing it to make some changes to its holiday programme over the coming days.

All outbound TUI flights to Rhodes up to and including Friday 28 July will not be operating. Flights from Rhodes back to the UK and Ireland are still running as scheduled.

All flight-only customers due to travel on these impacted flights will receive a full refund, TUI said, while package holiday customers will have the option to amend or cancel with a full refund. Refunds will be processed within 14 days of the booking being cancelled.

A fire as it burns vegetation into the village of Gennadi on the Greek Aegean island of Rhodes (Photo: Getty Images)A fire as it burns vegetation into the village of Gennadi on the Greek Aegean island of Rhodes (Photo: Getty Images)
A fire as it burns vegetation into the village of Gennadi on the Greek Aegean island of Rhodes (Photo: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Addressing customers due to travel to the north of Rhodes from Saturday 29 July, TUI has confirmed that its hotels and resorts are fully operational and its team of reps are offering their “usual programme”. The firm added that there will also be an excursion programme on offer for those who wish to explore.

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TUI said it is offering amends to another holiday that is available free of charge, or the option to cancel for a full refund for customers due to travel up to and including 30 July for all areas of Rhodes.

The firm said: “The safety and well-being of our customers and teams remains our top priority and our reps are committed to supporting all our customers at this time as well as ensuring those not impacted have enjoyable holidays.

“We are confident customers in the North of Rhodes will continue to have an enjoyable holiday. Our teams are of course there to support our customers anytime and they can contact us via the TUI App or phone +44 20 38 303 111 or Text 80247. We thank you for your understanding.”

As for customers heading to the south of Rhodes, the travel firm said the situation in this part of the island is constantly being reviewed.

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Several TUI hotels are still open in the south, but TUI is offering customers travelling to a hotel based in the southern part of Rhodes the option to amend their booking for free, or cancel with a full refund up to and including 11 August. Any customers travelling to hotels in the south of the island between 12 and 21 August can amend fee free.

TUI added that it will contact customers directly as soon as possible if their hotel will not be operational. This includes anyone who booked a TUI package holiday which includes a non-TUI flight, such as easyJet.

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