June 24, 2024 9:28 am

UK holiday operator cancels all flights to Greek island of Rhodes


UK holiday operator TUI has canceled all flights to the Greek island of Rhodes for the next few days as authorities continue to fight raging wildfires.

In a statement sent to CNN on Tuesday, TUI said it would not be “operating any outbound flights to Rhodes up to and including Friday, July 28.”

The company will also not operate holidays for customers traveling to “impacted hotels” on the island up to and including Sunday, July 30, according to the statement.

Tour operators such as TUI have scrambled this week to evacuate holidaymakers in Greek areas grappling with wildfires. So far, TUI has carried out five repatriation flights which according to the company brought “hundreds of customers” home to the UK.

Return flights from Rhodes to the UK and Ireland are set to continue as scheduled, TUI said, stressing that “the safety and well-being” of its customers remains the “top priority.”

TUI airline aurcrafts are parked at Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, outside Brussels, on March 12, 2020. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

TUI has faced sharp criticism from customers who were apparently unable to access their holiday accommodation after being transported by the company to Greece. One tourist, Jess Bailey, told CNN’s Max Foster on Monday that the hotel she had booked was “effectively cut off [by] the fires,” leaving Bailey with no means to “get there.”

Bailey, who was evacuated to the UK by TUI, stressed that larger tour operators such as TUI have “a responsibility to look after their customers” and she was disappointed by her treatment.

Holidaymakers who have purchased package holidays to Rhodes for dates up to and including July 30 will have have the option to request a full refund or amend their holiday to another destination, according to the TUI statement.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands has issued a warning to all those thinking of traveling to the popular holiday destinations of Rhodes, Corfu and Evia. The Dutch foreign affairs ministry upgraded the color code for the three islands from green to yellow this week, indicating an increased travel risk.

In the travel guidance, travelers are advised to plan their trip “well” and be aware that the security situation in the yellow coded country is different to that of the Netherlands.

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