Airlines start adding flights ahead of ‘green list’ announcement

·1-min read
Landing soon: a British Airways Airbus A320 approaching Faro on the south coast of Portugal (Simon Calder)
Landing soon: a British Airways Airbus A320 approaching Faro on the south coast of Portugal (Simon Calder)

After two flights from London Heathrow to Faro in Portugal sold out at economy fares reaching £530, British Airways has added another departure on the first day that international leisure travel is allowed in England.

Tickets on the 9.05am departure to the Algarve airport, BA2694, are initially being sold at £130 one-way – £400 cheaper than the lowest fare earlier in the day.

Other airlines are known to be planning additional flights to Portugal – as well as Malta, which has been widely tipped as a low-risk destination.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, will at 5pm on Friday reveal the “green list” of countries from which quarantine is not required for returning holidaymakers.

Portugal is widely expected to be the only major southern European country to make the list, with Spain, France, Italy, Croatia and Greece on amber – for which 10 days of self-isolation are required.

Follow: Green list announcement - live: Countries to be revealed today as foreign holiday rules ease

Rumours within the travel industry suggest that a surprise addition could be the United States – from which British travellers are currently barred by presidential proclamation.

Paul Charles, the chief executive of the travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “I understand that the reason for a 5pm press conference to announce the traffic lights is because it is 12 midday Washington time and enables the USA to also announce a green re-opening.”

An airline captain, Dave Wallsworth, tweeted: “What @GrantShapps says at 5pm today will have major consequences for friends and colleagues throughout the aviation industry which has been hit so hard over the last 15 months or so.

“Hoping we get the news people are waiting for. I’m especially interested to hear about USA travel.”

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