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Flights to Tunisia resume for first time since 2015

16 February 2018 09:18

Holiday operator Thomas Cook is resuming UK flights to Tunisia

Holiday operator Thomas Cook is resuming UK flights to Tunisia

Holiday operator Thomas Cook is resuming UK flights to Tunisia for the first time since 2015, when a beach attack brought them to a halt.

Following the attack, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advised that only essential visits to the country be made, but it has now eased its travel advice.

This week, three full planes, each carrying 220 passengers, are making their way to Enfidha.

'Excited to go back'

Tunisia attracted 440,000 UK visitors in 2014 before the flight ban was put in place. Thomas Cook continued to fly German, French and Belgian holidaymakers to Tunisia, as their governments did not issue advice against going.

The company has now received feedback from the tourists who were taking the trip this week. Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: "People who were boarding our first flight said they were excited to go back."

Of the people who have already landed in Tunisia, he said: "They don't feel like they are in a military zone and feel they can enjoy their holidays."

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said they hadn't needed to offer discount rates to attract people back to Tunisia.

"We've always had good demand for these holidays and Tunisia has always been a good value destination," he said.

Six flights a week

Flights left Birmingham and Manchester on Tuesday last week, with another going from Gatwick on Wednesday.

Three planes will fly per week until the end of April, when another flight, from Glasgow, will be added.

By the end of May, six flights a week will be making their way from the UK to Tunisia.

Louisa de Sousa, Britain's ambassador to Tunis, said that "no country can be 100% safe" from terrorism. "But we are satisfied that Tunisia has made substantial progress and I would encourage Britons to come and visit. This country has so much to offer," she added.

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