Greece: How are travel firms responding to the wildfires in Rhodes?

Travel companies have made important announcements for holidaymakers stuck in fire-ravaged parts of Greece. Credit: PA

A wildfire has wrought havoc on the Greek island of Rhodes, with around 19,000 people evacuated from villages and hotels so far.

The six-day blaze continued to rage on Sunday after the fire service warned more fires could break out, with temperatures set to reach 45C.

Thousands of British holidaymakers were travelling in Greece when wildfires began ravaging areas including Rhodes and Cyprus, as a sweltering scorched Europe.

On Monday morning Tui confirmed the first lot of holidaymakers had landed back in the UK.

Airline easyJet also said it was beginning repatriation flights from fire-hit Rhodes.

Here's how UK-based travel companies have responded to the emergency so far:


EasyJet announced it would operate repatriation flights to bring home British holidaymakers trapped on Rhodes.

Two rescue flights, an A320 and an A321 aircraft totalling 421 additional seats, will fly from Gatwick on Monday, and a third flight will operate on Tuesday.

Nine flights already operating between Rhodes and the UK will also continue alongside them.

Flights are still operating for customers booked to travel to or from Rhodes before July 29, but if they would like to change their plans, customers can change the date of their flight or request a flight voucher.

The scene at Rhodes International Airport, where people are waiting to fly home


Jet2 was the first to announce it had cancelled all flights and holidays due to depart to Rhodes up to and including Sunday July 30.

They said a repatriation flight, carrying 95 passengers, landed at Leeds Bradford Airport on Sunday evening, before another three leave the island later on Monday.The aircraft were flown to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so they can bring customers on the island back to the UK.

The company said it would be contacting customers to arrange refunds or re-bookings.


Travel firm Tui has said holidaymakers have returned to the UK from Rhodes on “three dedicated flights”.

It said in a statement: “We’re now working hard to get everybody home safely, with our first passengers returning to the UK on three dedicated flights overnight and plans in place to get everyone affected back as soon as possible."

Tui said it had cancelled all flights and holidays to Rhodes up to and including Tuesday July 25, with passengers receiving full refunds.

Those due to travel on Wednesday, July 26 can amend to another holiday or cancel free of charge.

It said customers currently in Rhodes will return on their intended flights home.

Evacuees slept inside stadiums and schools following their evacuations. Credit: Argyris Mantikos/AP/PA

Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook said on Monday all customers who had to leave their accommodation in Rhodes over the weekend are either returning home or staying in another hotel.Around 50 customers were forced to evacuate due to the wildfires which have hit part of the island.They now have no customers remaining in evacuation centres, the firm said.

The firm has also cancelled all holidays to Kiotari and Lardos – the areas of Rhodes most at risk – up to and including Monday July 31, and would be in touch to offer full refunds.

Customers travelling to other parts of the island on July 24 and 25 are being called in departure order to receive a full refund if they wish to cancel their trip.

Those travelling on Wednesday July 26 will be contacted no later than 6am on July 25 to discuss options.

British Airways said it was still operating flights to Rhodes as normal. Credit: PA

British Airways

British Airways said it was still operating flights to Rhodes as normal.

However, BA customers currently on the island needing to come home early can change their return flight free of charge, and anyone travelling out from the UK in the next week can postpone their flight to a later date.

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