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.


Erdogan says Afrin city centre under ‘total’ control

Syrian regime retakes two towns from Ghouta rebels

Israel blasts Gaza underground tunnel

Egypt tries to contain Sudan but challenges, suspicions remain

Iraqis flock to flea market for relics of bygone era

Arab women artists in diaspora focus on identity and loss

Tunisia’s Central Bank targets inflation but may hurt growth prospects

Libya’s health system reflects a larger humanitarian crisis

Abu Dhabi awards France's Total stakes in oil concessions

US defence secretary presses Oman on Iran weapons smuggling

Hamas shutters mobile firm after Gaza attack on PM

Israel punishes family members of West Bank attacker

Syria opposition says UN 'failed to prevent' Assad 'crimes'

UK tries to soothe Egyptian anger over mob attack death

Hundreds of thousands flee in dual Syria assaults

Turkish Cypriots vow to stand firm in gas dispute

Intensifying assaults in Syria spark dual evacuations

Tearful reunions, uncertain fates for Syrians fleeing Ghouta

Iran deal signatories meet as Trump deadline looms

Thirty years on, Kurds remember Halabja massacre

Air India says will fly over Saudi airspace to Tel Aviv

UN chief calls for end to Lebanese 'meddling' in Syria

Turkey seeks jail for journalists opposing government

UN says civilians trapped, used as 'human shields' in Afrin

Iran, Russia, Turkey hold Syria talks in Astana

Civilians killed in Turkish fire on Syria's Afrin

US Defense Secretary says Iran 'mucking around' in Iraq elections

No room for debate in Egyptian elections

Thousands flee Syria's Ghouta after month-long bombardment

Israel closes migrant detention centre in expulsion plan

UN security council says Yemen conditions 'devastating' for civilians

Crown prince says if Iran gets nuclear bomb, so will Saudi Arabia

UNRWA chief says agency needs urgent funds by summer

Turkey to host Syria summit on April 4 with Russia, Iran

Turkey journalists protest for colleague after 500 days in prison

UN says Syria regime forces using rape as wide-scale weapon

Turkey expects to take Afrin centre in ‘very short time’

Israel attacks Hamas posts in Gaza

Kuwaitis flock to get hands on rare ‘desert truffle’

Egypt expects tourism upsurge ahead of vote

Syrian lawyer that negotiated Raqa IS deal found dead

Convoy of food aid enters Syria’s Ghouta

Qatar’s BeIN media slams Egypt court fine

Syrian war enters eighth year

Qatar spends 3 billion on military helicopters