BRITISH tourists were greeted with music and dancing after arriving in Tunisia on the first UK package holiday since the Sousse beach massacre.
The Thomas Cook flight yesterday carried 220 passengers from Birmingham to Enfidha — the first of three full planes this week.
The tour operator resumed flights after the Foreign Office relaxed travel advice following the June 2015 attack in which 38 tourists, including 30 Britons, were killed.
Holidaymakers were greeted at the airport with women offering flowers and a band playing traditional music.
‘People who were boarding our first flight said they were excited to go back,’ said Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser.
‘It would be foolish of me to say that any destination is 100 per cent safe but what I can say is that we have taken time to make the decision to prepare the programme.’
Customers are paying from £306 for seven nights and can choose from ten hotels, rising to 14 in the summer. Security has been increased at resorts and hotels in the North African country, which attracted 440,000 UK visitors in 2014.
The company continued to sell trips to French, German and Belgian holidaymakers as they were not advised to avoid Tunisia. These tourists ‘don’t feel they are in a military zone’, Mr Fankhauser told the BBC.
Terror group Daesh claimed responsibility for the 2015 attack by gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.
■ A BOOM in cruise bookings buoyed ‘resilient’ demand at holiday giant TUI despite an eight per cent rise in winter travel prices because of the weak pound. Overall revenues rose 8.1 per cent to £3.1billion last year. Pre-tax losses narrowed from £91.8million to £64.4million. Chief executive Fritz Joussen said TUI was on track to see underlying operating earnings rise at least ten per cent for the full year. He said: ‘Our strategy is successful. Our focus is on hotels and cruises.’