Schiphol, 12 April 2021 – As part of the government’s “Safe and responsible travelling during corona” pilot programme, the first pilot flight of holidaymakers, offered by Transavia and Sunweb, took off from Schipol this afternoon. The enthusiastic passengers, who were selected from amongst more than 25,000 applicants, left for an eight-day all-inclusive holiday at the Mitsis Grand Beach hotel on the island of Rhodes. This pilot programme is the first step towards gaining the perspective that will allow them to offer the Dutch public a summer season full of lovely holidays. The goal of the pilot programme is to gain new insights into the conditions that will allow people to go on holiday safely and responsibly.
After a rapid corona test at the Sheraton Hotel, it was time for the passengers to check in with Transavia. They headed for the gate together from passport control. Everything went smoothly as planned, and the passengers adhered to safety regulations, including maintaining a 1.5-metre distance, wearing masks and boarding at the gate in order.
“In the end, we are jointly responsible for flying and travelling safely”, says Marcel de Nooijer, CEO of Transavia. “We are pleased to carry out this first real holiday flight with Sunweb. It’s important that the government maintains an unambiguous European policy, so it’s clear to everyone which colour codes apply to which country or area and which measures and restrictions apply to each destination. We have every confidence that these arrangements will be made and that the upscaling of vaccination will allow us to use all of our capacity this summer to get our passengers to their destinations."
Mattijs ten Brink, CEO of Sunweb Group, adds: “You could feel the energy in the departure hall; these holidaymakers were so thrilled to be able to go on holiday again. I’m also enormously proud that the government placed its faith in us to organise this holiday pilot programme with Transavia. It’s an important step forwards, not just for the Dutch travel sector but also for all of our partners at our destinations. They invested heavily last year, and, with the new insights provided by the pilot, they can make the final preparations for a summer full of happy holidaymakers.”
It goes without saying that the insights from this pilot will be shared with the entire sector, so all travel industry partners can make use of it. The two organisations want nothing more than to offer clear information to both the entire sector and to all Dutch people longing to travel again. Sunweb and Transavia’s holiday pilot programme is being evaluated by an independent agency.