TUI cancels holidays to Sri Lanka as Foreign Office urges people not to travel


TUI has canceled holidays to Sri Lanka amid a ‘deteriorating’ political and financial situation over in the country.

The airline said that flights departing up to and including May 31, 2022 have been cancelled.

All customers impacted by the cancellations are being contacted, TUI confirmed in a statement.

It comes after the Foreign Office urged people not to travel to Sri Lanka unless it is for an essential reason.

A state of emergency was declared and an island-wide curfew was enforced earlier this month after a number of incidents – which involved violence against peaceful protesters.

TUI said in a statement: “Due to the ongoing political and economic instability in Sri Lanka, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) have advised against all but essential travel.

“As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel all holidays to Sri Lanka departing up to and including May 31, 2022.

“We will be proactively contacting all impacted customers in departure date order to discuss their options.



A state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka earlier this month

“Please note this advice does not apply to customers transiting through Sri Lanka’s international airport and customers currently in resort can continue to enjoy their holiday as planned.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and update customers should there be any further updates. We would like to thank our customers for their understanding at this time.”

The Foreign Office has advised that the economic situation in Sri Lanka is ‘deteriorating’ as a result of the growing civil unrest.

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Locals are said to be struggling to secure basically necessities, including medicines, cooking gas, fuel and food because of a shortage of hard currency to pay for imports.

There are also ongoing daily power cuts due to electricity rationing.

The Indian Ocean island nation is said to be on the brink of bankruptcy and has suspended repayment of its foreign loans pending negotiations on a rescue package with the International Monetary Fund.

Sri Lanka needs to repay seven billion dollars in foreign debt this year out of 25 billion dollars due by 2026. The country’s total foreign debt is 51 billion dollars.

The finance ministry says the country currently has only 25 million dollars in usable foreign reserves.

Protests have been widespread over several weeks amid the dire economic situation.

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Last week, authorities deployed armored vehicles and troops in the streets on the capital city of Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte after attacks on protesters triggered a wave of violence across the country. Nine people died and more than 200 were injured.

Security forces have been ordered to shoot people deemed to be participating in the violence as sporadic acts of arson and vandalism continued despite a strict nationwide curfew that began last Monday.

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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