First Published: 2018-02-13

British holidaymakers back to Tunisia three years after beach attack
British travel firm Thomas Cook resumes Tunisia holidays, allowing Britons to join German, French, Belgian customers.
Middle East Online

Thomas Cook said all three of its flights to Tunisia's Enfidha airport on Tuesday were full

LONDON - Thomas Cook flew tourists to Tunisia for the first time in three years on Tuesday, making it the first major British travel operator to resume operations there since an Islamist militant killed 30 Britons on a beach in 2015.

The attack, which was claimed by Islamic State, prompted Britain to advise against all but essential travel to the North African country, and major tour operators subsequently scrapped their holiday programmes there.

But the Foreign Office softened advice last year. TUI Group, the operator with whom the victims had travelled with, said last month it planned to offer holidays in Tunisia again starting in May.

Thomas Cook said all three of its flights to Tunisia's Enfidha airport on Tuesday were full. It will fly there three times a week, allowing Britons to join German, French and Belgian customers who have been going there for the last two years.

A total of 38 people were killed in the shooting in June 2015 in Sousse, 140 km (87 miles) south of Tunis.

Thomas Cook's chief executive Peter Fankhauser said it had done everything it could in terms of security.

"It would be foolish of me to say that any destination is 100 percent safe but what I can say is that we have taken time to make the decision to prepare our programme," Fankhauser told BBC radio earlier on Tuesday.

TUI also says its decision to resume holidays to Tunisia was due to returning appetite.

"We opened the destination because demand was there, that's very clear," CEO Fritz Joussen said after the company announced its first quarter results.

 

Regime strikes in Syria enclave despite ceasefire call

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Egypt presidential race starts with Sisi likely to win

Christian leaders close Church of the Holy Sepulchre in tax dispute

Blatter supports Morocco bid for 2026 World Cup

Iraq condemns 15 Turkish women to death for belonging to IS

Thousands expected for radical Israeli rabbi's funeral

Syrian Kurd leader arrested in Prague

Philippine officials meet nationals in Kuwait amid labour row

Families of IS suspects in Iraq face 'collective punishment'

Iran's ex-intelligence minister slams handling of prison death

More strikes hit E. Ghouta as UN delays truce vote

Turkey says US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying'

Lebanon says both suspects in Kuwait murder of Filipina maid held

38 dead in Mogadishu car bombings

Morocco police arrests prominent newspaper publisher

Syria regime continues to pound Ghouta as world stutters

UN rights commission wants S.Sudan war crimes charges

Iran grounds airline's ATR planes after crash

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote

Turkey navy threatens to engage Italian drillship near Cyprus

Iran police shoving headscarf protester sparks social media storm

UN Security Council to vote Friday on Syria ceasefire

Dubai says Djibouti illegally seized African port

Dutch parliament recognises 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

Heavily bombarded Eastern Ghouta awaits UN resolution

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea