The boss of Jet2holidays says he hopes his company is “given a seat at the table” of the reformed Global Travel Taskforce, as it had for the first iteration of the group.
The Global Travel Taskforce is made up of government representatives but consults the industry. The Department for Transport confirmed to Travel Weekly this week that the second taskforce would be organised “in a similar way”.
“We were on the first one,” revealed Heapy while speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast. “Although the fact I was on the first one might mean I’m banned from the second one,” he said. “We’ll see.”
“I would hope we’d have a seat around the table, because we’ve got a lot to contribute. We are an airline, and we are a tour operator, and I think the more people that have valid opinions that are sat around the table, the better,” added Heapy.
“Obviously, if you have too many people it just ends up being a disaster with everyone arguing and bickering. But we’d be very happy to take part again.”
Asked what he would like to see from the taskforce, Heapy said: “A common sense approach, without overcaution.”
He accepted “the safety issues” were important but said: “We’ve got to be careful not to be too cautious. By all means, listen to the scientists but, at the end of the day, politicians have got to make their own decisions. They can’t hide behind the scientists forever.
“If, for example, the government is going to say, ‘you have to have a vaccine, and you have to have a vaccine passport, and you have [to have] a test when you leave, and a test when you arrive, and you’ve got to be in quarantine, and you’ve got to change your clothes… that’s not belt and braces, that’s about three belts and four braces It’s too much.”
He added: “They need to take a common sense approach. If people have had the vaccine, then that is a massive plus.”
Jet2holidays, which reported a 1,000% increase in bookings in the 24 hours after the prime minister’s announcement on Monday, has extended a promotion offering £110 off holidays to March 31.
The offer also applies to bookings made via independent travel agents.
Head of trade Alan Cross said: “This means our independent travel agency partners can offer their customers fantastic deals when it comes to getting their much-needed holidays in the diary, helping them to generate sales and grow business.”
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