The long-haul market is likely to be “patchy” in terms of allowing travel post-Covid but the Caribbean could be among the first to return, according to Tui UK boss Andrew Flintham.

Speaking at the Travel Weekly Future of Travel spring forum, Flintham said Tui had operated long-haul flights in December to Cuba and St Lucia, proving “long-haul can work” during the pandemic.

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He said: “I went on holiday to St Lucia and the whole island was incredibly well organised in terms of delivering that experience. And it was a really good experience.

“So I think it’s possible. The Caribbean potentially will be fairly forward I would imagine in coming back on that list, which is obviously very important to us.”

Flintham is hopeful other destinations such as Mexico and the US could be among the first to open up, adding: “The US is clearly a reasonable size programme for us. Their vaccination programme is actually quite well advanced.

“I think we will see long-haul coming back. I guess it will be patchy in terms of some of those destinations.”

He admitted some long-haul destinations such as South America and Asia could be more challenging or restrictive in terms of allowing travel to return.