First Dutch holiday test flight organised by Transavia & Sunweb took off with enthusiastic passengers. Similar test requested in Belgium

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Check-in at Amsterdam Schiphol

Sunweb Group is requesting the Belgian test variant

As part of the Dutch government test ‘Safe and responsible travel during corona’, the first holiday test flight (HV1021 operated by Boeing 737-800 registered PH-HXB) of Transavia and Sunweb departed from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol this afternoon at 13:00. The enthusiastic passengers, selected from more than 25,000 registrations, left for an eight-day all-inclusive holiday to the hotel Mitsis Grand Beach on Rhodes.

This test holiday is the first step towards perspective to be able to provide Dutch people with beautiful holidays again this summer season. The aim of the holiday test is to gain new insights and to collect data under which conditions people can go on holiday safely and responsibly.

The Belgian government will also monitor the results.

After the corona rapid test at the Sheraton hotel, it was time for the passengers to check in with Transavia. The holidaymakers left together for the gate via passport control. Everything went as planned and the passengers adhered to the security measures such as the 1.5-metre distance, the use of mouth masks and boarding in order at the gate.

Ultimately, we are jointly responsible for flying and travelling safely,” says Marcel de Nooijer, CEO of Transavia. “We are pleased that we can now operate this first real holiday flight with Sunweb. It remains important that the government is committed to an unambiguous European policy, so that it is clear to everyone which colour codes apply per country or area and which measures and restrictions apply per destination. We have every confidence that these agreements will be made and that thanks to the scaling up of vaccination we will be able to use all our capacity this summer to bring our passengers to their destination.”

Mattijs ten Brink, CEO of Sunweb Group: “The energy in the departure hall was palpable; all these holidaymakers are so happy to be able to go on holiday again. I am therefore extremely proud that we have gained the confidence of the government to organize this holiday pilot together with Transavia. It is the first important step towards more perspective. Not only for the Dutch travel industry, but certainly also for all our partners at our destinations. They already invested heavily last year and can use the new insights that this pilot will provide to make the final preparations for a beautiful summer full of happy holidaymakers.”

It goes without saying that the insights gained from this pilot will be shared with the entire sector so that all partners in the travel industry can make use of it. The two organisations want nothing more than to offer the entire sector and all Dutch people who want to travel again a good perspective. The holiday pilot of Sunweb and Transavia is being evaluated by an independent agency.

Belgian holiday test

Sunweb Group assumes that the Belgian government will also monitor the results of this Dutch experiment. From April 19, the Belgian travel ban will expire and various studies show that Belgians long for a holiday.

Tim Van den Bergh, International Brand & Communications Director Sunweb Group, is only in favour of a similar initiative in Belgium: “The developments around vaccines and the great need of consumers to be able to go on holiday again gives us the confidence that there will be able to travel again this summer. How we can ensure that this is as safe as possible for all parties is the set-up of this holiday pilot. Setting up a similar experiment in Belgium will only provide more insights, and we are happy to be the initiator of that.”

Schiphol, Monday 12 April 2021

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