Greece has decided to block travel agency TUI flights from entering its country, reports Aftonbladet. The reason for the ban is the events of last week, when TUI flew a plane to Rhodes with people whose travel purpose was unclear between the Greek administration and a travel agency.
Read more: Swedish tourists aroused anger in Rhodes - even the deputy mayor was surprised at how tourists got to the island
According to TUI, they had a special permit from the Greek Minister of Tourism to import TUI staff, tourists and journalists. According to Rhodes Deputy Mayor Konstantinos Taraslias, only TUI staff and journalists were to be on board.
According to TUI, about a quarter of the seats on the plane were reserved for TUI staff, their families and journalists. The rest of the places were reserved by ordinary tourists.
TUI’s next flight, which was due to depart next Thursday for Rhodes, has been banned from entering the country. TUI spokesman Adam Györki tells Aftonbladet that the reason is the mecca caused by the previous flight in the Swedish and Greek media.
- Everyone on the previous flight has been tested for the coronavirus and no one has been found infected. We have thus proven that it is safe to take Swedes on a Mediterranean holiday, says Györki.
TUI will fly to Rhodes on Thursday in an empty plane so passengers who flew there last week can get home. Those who buy a ticket for a canceled flight can either postpone their flight to a later date or get their money back.
- The decision made now is sad for both us and our customers. Greek hotel staff, taxi drivers and restaurant owners are also affected. They are dependent on tourism, and Swedish tourists are well-liked and much-needed, Györki says.
TUI had a special permit agreed with the Greek government to fly to Rhodes. No other direct flights from Sweden to Greece are allowed. According to Aftonbladet, the airline SAS has also suffered from the situation. It had to cancel several of its flights to Greece scheduled for July due to the corona situation.
A total of more than 71,000 coronavirus infections have been diagnosed in Sweden. More than 5,400 virus-related deaths have been recorded.
Approximately 3,500 coronavirus infections have been reported in Greece and 192 viral deaths have been reported.