Flight Centre cancels Black Friday deals to handle UK travel cancellations

Posted by Anita Froneman on 26 November 2021

Black Friday has become quite a craze with nearly all retailers offering major discounts on products and services. Travel operator Flight Centre had planned to do the same, but cancelled their campaign when news broke of the UK’s latest red list update that includes South Africa.

The company said it made the decision to ‘assist those customers who are affected by the UK government announcement that South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe will move back onto the country’s dreaded red list from midday today.’

Andrew Stark, Flight Centre Travel Group MD added: ‘To wake up to this news and be in this position again is simply devastating. We envisage there will be a domino effect with other countries following suit as we have seen before. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for our country to achieve an 80% plus vaccination rate so that we can proactively put an end to these situations unfolding.’

‘We are aware many of our customers were looking forward to Black Friday shopping but believe the responsible thing to do given the current uncertainties is to sadly cancel our Black Friday sale so that our Experts can focus all their energy on assisting our customers at this time.’

In addition, Israel, Japan, Singapore have also restricted inbound and outbound travel to southern Africa on Thursday.

Previously, South Africa along with several other countries was banned from entering the UK until early October this year. Soon after the ban on South Africa was lifted, travel experts are reporting a surge in flight bookings from South Africa.

By 13 October, air ticket sales from South Africa to London have tripled. ‘Our mobile app was also hugely popular with overall website traffic up by 50% since the announcement,’ said Stark at the time.

Picture: Unsplash/Glenn Carstens-Peters

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