Jet2, Tui, and Thomas Cook cancel flights to Rhodes as devastating wildfires rage on
Holiday firms Jet2, Tui, and Thomas Cook have cancelled all flights to Rhodes as wildfires rage out of control on the Greek island where 2,000 people have been evacuated.
Wildfires have blazed for six days in Rhodes, spreading from the island's mountainous centre towards the coast, aided by winds, very high temperatures and dry conditions.
British tourists have now been warned by the Foreign Office that no travel to the region can be guaranteed as safe.
However, EasyJet and RyanAir have confirmed they are still operating flights as normal to Rhodes, but will continue to evaluate the situation.
A spokesperson for Jet2 said: "We have cancelled all flights and holidays that are due to depart to Rhodes today (five flights in total). We will be contacting affected customers to update them, and to let them know that they will be provided with a full refund and the opportunity to rebook.
"We will fly those five aircraft to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so that we can bring customers back to the UK on their scheduled flight.
"We are keeping the situation under constant review, and we will continue to make decisions in the best interests of our customers."
A spokesperson for EasyJet said: "We are currently operating as normal to Rhodes however we continue to closely monitor the situation. We advise customers travelling to and from Rhodes to check the status of their flights on Flight Tracker.
"EasyJet is currently working to comply with requests of the local authorities, and is in contact with customers in resort to support them.
"The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is our highest priority.
"Any customers who are booked to travel to or from Rhodes until July 29 can transfer for free to another date or can request a flight voucher for the value of their unused flights, by calling our Customer Services."
Matthew Lodge, the UK's ambassador to Greece, said: "Since the wildfires situation deteriorated yesterday [the British Embassy in Athens] has been working with the Greek authorities, airlines and tour operators to support UK nationals on Rhodes.
"A rapid deployment team from [the Foreign Office] is on its way."
The government is advising travellers to follow guidance from the emergency services and check with their travel operators if their hotels have been affected.
Guidance on gov.uk says: "Extreme temperatures are affecting many areas of Greece and there are a number of active wildfires including in Rhodes.
"If you are a British national affected by wildfires in Rhodes near Kiotari, Pefkoi, Lindos and the surrounding area, please follow the guidance from the emergency services.
"Call the Greek Emergency Services on 112 if you are in immediate danger.
"The Greek government has established a Crisis Management Unit to respond to the situation in Rhodes. They can be contacted on +30 210 368 1730.
"For 24/7 British consular assistance, call +4420 7008 5000.
"If you are planning to travel to Rhodes, please check with your travel operator or hotel prior to travel that the area you plan to visit is not impacted by the current wildfires."