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Tour Updates

August 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

 

Following the update to the UK’s Red, Amber and Green Travel lists yesterday, we are able to see where we can and cannot go at this moment in time. That said, things could change over the weeks and months ahead. Next update to the UK’s travel lists is in 3 weeks’ time: around the 25th August.

 

One thing the government never mentions is if people from the UK are actually allowed entry into a country.  For example, Australia is on our green list but the UK (and much of the world) are on Australia’s red list: no foreigners are being allowed in to Oz until the summer of 2022! And, although most European countries are on our green list, again, some of these countries have placed the UK on their red list (Belgium, Norway and Denmark to name just 3), so again we cannot enter. It is not as easy and straightforward as the government makes out.

 

Listed below are those tours scheduled to take place this year – and their likelihood, as of now, of them actually going. Currently, only Malta can go so if you are looking for an aviation holiday, or even a non-aviation holiday, Malta may turn out to be the only tour we do this year!

 

11-15 August : Denmark.  As both airshows were cancelled, we cancelled this tour back in March.

 

26-30 August: La Ferte Alais Airshow. We had to cancel this tour last week due to flight and hotel booking deadlines. Strangely the organisers of the airshow have said that in order to access the airfield the required Covid test for foreigners must have been taken in France and not, in our case, in England! We will include next year’s airshow in our 2022 programme, with an optional extension to Normandy D-Day sites and museums, plus Dieppe and a V-1 Doodlebug launch site. You will also have the option only booking Normandy/Dieppe. Await confirmation of airshow date – in June?

 

3-7 September: Norway.  As the UK is on Norway’s Red Travel List this tour has had to be cancelled.

 

10-14 September: 60th Anniversary of NATO Tigers. Belgium has put the UK on their Red Travel List – we cannot enter the country. I must release – or pay for all the hotel rooms – no later than 10 August.  As the next update to the UK’s Travel Lists are not due out until 25 August, we have no option but to cancel this tour.

 

10-19 September: Ukraine. This tour cannot take place because the Ukraine is on the UK’s Amber Travel List and our ‘go/no-go’ deadline is 10 August.

 

22-28 September: Greenland. We have to travel via Denmark – there is no other way – and the UK is on Denmark’s (and Greenland’s) Red Travel List: we cannot enter either country. We will include this tour in 2022.

 

22-27 September: Malta International Airshow. This tour can go ahead! Deadline for bookings is 22 August as we must cancel or pay for the hotel no later than the 22nd.  Tour extended by 1 day, price increased by only £20.00! We need 2 more bookings as a minimum. Malta will accept the NHS COVID Pass (both the digital and letter versions) as proof of your vaccination status. You can now enter Malta without quarantining if you can prove you have had 2 jabs. Option to extend your stay. Interested?  Our new on-line booking system is not yet running, so first email me or call 01487 832922 to book. Attached is Issue 2 of the itinerary.

 

Update on entry requirements to Malta: only proof of 2 jabs, see Issue 3 on the website. Re-entry to the UK: 2 PCR tests – first one taken 72hrs prior to arrival in UK (ie, in Malta); and the second on Day 2 after entering the UK.

 

1-18 October: Japan.  There is currently a state of emergency in Japan and entry is for essential reasons only.  A decision will be taken at the end of August.

 

10-17 October: Bulgaria. Although Bulgaria is on the UK’s Green Travel List the UK is on the Bulgarian’s Red Travel List!  We cannot enter. We will review the situation at the end of August.  With over 20 people wanting to go on this tour, we hope the situation will change.

 

15 November – December: Australia.  The Australian government has announced that it does not see tourists being allowed into the country this year, perhaps not until mid-2022.  Very few of the population has received even 1 jab, so it looks like it will be some time before everyone as had 2.

 

To repeat from the last Update, great news about the price of PCR tests in the UK which I am sure will be welcomed by everyone, and will greatly reduce the cost of travelling abroad with us: see below.

 

PCR TESTS: Due to Eton Travel’s membership of the Advantage Travel Partnership we are now able to offer a greatly reduced price for taking PCR tests. We have secured an agreement for Advantage members with Randox Toxicology, giving a discount on the cost for PCR tests. Randox Toxicology provide both PCR and lateral flow tests and are on the governments approved list of suppliers.

 

The usual cost of their PCR test is £120.00 but with the members exclusive code, this is reduced to £43 per test. The code is transferrable to all of Eton Travel’s customers, including Ian Allan Aviation Tours, and we do recommend you take advantage of this fabulous offer. At the appropriate time you make your own arrangements for the test and payment.

 

How to use the code:

  • Go onto the Randox website
  • Place the PCR kit into the basket
  • At checkout enter the code Advantage43 . This will reduce the cost down to £43.00
  • The kit will be sent to your home address
  • Follow the enclosed instructions 
  • Drop it at one of the 120 drop boxes located in the UK. A full list of these are here 
  • The swabs are collected by helicopter and taken to one of the labs for processing. The results will be sent back to you within 24 hours.
  • If you are not near a drop-off location you can return the swab via a courier (at own expense).

 

If the above is not convenient then we can recommend 2 further reduced-price PCR testing options. Express Test (recommended by British Airways) and for your return test taken in the UK, CityDoc – both recently used by a member of Eton Travel.

 

EXPRESS TEST: This was a test bookable online at £80.00 each, though prices start at £35.00. You must complete the form and add any discount codes and book the test no more than 72hrs prior to travel, the form requires you to fill in your name, date of birth, outbound travel date, flight number and destination, and date and time when you would like the test, You can select where you would like to have your tests done, there are varies options, Lynette at Eton Travel opted for Heathrow drive through, North perimeter road; once you have completed the form, you will receive a QR code which MUST be presented to the testing staff on arrival, once the test has been done, which involves a swab taken from the back of the throat and the nose(all the staff were very friendly ), you will receive your results NO later than 10pm the following day, so please bear this in mind when booking. You are then free to travel. Website 

 

CITYDOC: This was the test we booked for our return, bookable online at £65.00 each, you complete all the details on the required form, you then receive an acknowledgement, this test must be done on the 02nd day of your return to the UK, they will only send out the pack prior to your arrival back to UK and no earlier, although they have a shelf life of 1 year. This is a home test, where you complete the necessary details swab tests, and send the pack back, when you will receive your results by day 4. Website

 

Please note: you must have had 2 jabs – and be able to prove this with a recognized app or hard copy – in order to book on an Ian Allan Aviation Tour. In some instances having had both jabs will exclude the need to pay for, and have, PCR tests either on arrival in the country being visited and/or on return to the UK.

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone, on 01487 832922, or email: grahamd@eton-travel.co.uk .

 

Sorry this is a longer Update than before, but I think you want to keep up to date with all the news – good or bad.

July 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

 

Firstly, let’s get the negative news out of the way:  Denmark remains on the Amber Travel List so we have no option but to cancel this tour: will offer it again next year.

 

Secondly, the tours which we plan on operating taking into account the ongoing situation with Covid restrictions and the government’s Green Travel List. I am sure we are all hoping that there will be changes for the good following the 19th July ‘Freedom Day’:

 

LA FERTE ALAIS/PARIS: Go/no-go? We will make a decision when the Travel List is announced in mid-July, showing France on the Green Travel List.

 

60th ANNIVERSARY OF NATO TIGERS: a decision will be made in early August; France and Belgium need to be on the Green Travel List.  Require another 6 bookings. We have been guaranteed tickets for our group even if officially they have all been sold!

 

MALTA INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW: a decision will be taken mid-August.  Need a few more bookings. From today (1st July) you can enter Malta without quarantining if you can prove you have had 2 jabs.

 

Great news about the price of PCR tests in the UK which I am sure will be welcomed by everyone, and will greatly reduce the cost of travelling abroad with us: see below.

 

PCR TESTS: Due to Eton Travel’s membership of the Advantage Travel Partnership we are now able to offer a greatly reduced price for taking PCR tests. We have secured an agreement for Advantage members with Randox Toxicology, giving a discount on the cost for PCR tests. Randox Toxicology provide both PCR and lateral flow tests and are on the governments approved list of suppliers.

 

The usual cost of their PCR test is £120.00 but with the members exclusive code, this is reduced to £43 per test. The code is transferrable to all of Eton Travel’s customers, including Ian Allan Aviation Tours, and we do recommend you take advantage of this fabulous offer. At the appropriate time you make your own arrangements for the test and payment.

 

How to use the code:

  • Go onto the Randox website here 
  • Place the PCR kit into the basket
  • At checkout enter the code Advantage43 . This will reduce the cost down to £43.00
  • The kit will be sent to your home address
  • Follow the enclosed instructions 
  • Drop it at one of the 120 drop boxes located in the UK. A full list of these are here 
  • The swabs are collected by helicopter and taken to one of the labs for processing. The results will be sent back to you within 24 hours.
  • If you are not near a drop-off location you can return the swab via a courier (at own expense).

 

If the above is not convenient then we can recommend 2 further reduced-price PCR testing options. Express Test (recommended by British Airways) and for your return test taken in the UK, CityDoc – both recently used by a member of Eton Travel.

 

EXPRESS TEST: This was a test bookable online at £80.00 each, though prices start at £35.00. You must complete the form and add any discount codes and book the test no more than 72hrs prior to travel, the form requires you to fill in your name, date of birth, outbound travel date, flight number and destination, and date and time when you would like the test, You can select where you would like to have your tests done, there are varies options, Lynette at Eton Travel opted for Heathrow drive through, North perimeter road; once you have completed the form, you will receive a QR code which MUST be presented to the testing staff on arrival, once the test has been done, which involves a swab taken from the back of the throat and the nose(all the staff were very friendly ), you will receive your results NO later than 10pm the following day, so please bear this in mind when booking. You are then free to travel. Website

 

CITYDOC: This was the test we booked for our return, bookable online at £65.00 each, you complete all the details on the required form, you then receive an acknowledgement, this test must be done on the 02nd day of your return to the UK, they will only send out the pack prior to your arrival back to UK and no earlier, although they have a shelf life of 1 year. This is a home test, where you complete the necessary details swab tests, and send the pack back, when you will receive your results by day 4. Website

 

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone, on 01487 832922, or email: grahamd@eton-travel.co.uk .

June 2021 Update #2

Hello Everyone,

 

Following the release yesterday of the latest Red, Amber and Green Travel Lists we have moved one, small pace forward.

 

Its welcome news that finally Malta is OK to travel to.  Still disappointing that the USA  and Canada are not, finally putting paid to any remote chance of going to Oshkosh; and the tour to the USA’s  North Western States and Canada (227114).

 

News this morning that Russia is starting to see a large rise in cases and deaths means there is no chance of this country appearing any time soon on the Green Travel List, so we have no option but to cancel the MAKS tour (227115) and ARMY (227122); we will include both tours next year.

 

We await developments in France so that our tour to the La Ferte Alais Airshow (227106) will go ahead as planned 26th – 30th August.

 

Now for some positive news!  There are 2 tours that you can now book on, both in September: 10th - 14th the 60th Anniversary of the NATO Tigers in Belgium, to both Spotter’s Days; and 23rd – 27th to Malta’s International Airshow. Itineraries are on our website.

 

It is very important to bear in mind that we can only confirm these tours will go ahead 30 days prior to departure, that it is safe to do so and that Belgium  and Malta are on the Green Travel List.  

 

But we need bookings as soon as possible as we must confirm the travel and hotel arrangements. See paragraph further down.

 

Neither tour will go if there is the need to self-quarantine on return to the UK.  The rules for those having had, or will have had, 2 jabs may well be changed for the better: we await the government’s decision.

 

The itineraries are based on the CURRENT Covid rules which include taking 3 PCR tests. Of course, the requirements may change, or even be removed, over the coming months as more of the population receives both jabs: September is 3 months away. We are working on the assumption that both countries will be on the Green Travel List; if not, then we cannot travel. If the tour has to be cancelled because they have moved to the Red or Amber Travel List then you will be refunded in full. We cannot refund you, however, if you test positive when first tested in the UK 72-hours prior to departure, and are not able to travel.

 

At the moment you are required to take a PCR test at least 72 hours prior to departing the UK; a second PCR test 72 hours before arriving back in the UK (proof of a negative result needs to be shown to the Belgian, French,  Maltese (as appropriate), and the UK border authorities); and a third PCR test on the second day after arriving back home in the UK.

 

Whilst in Belgium or Malta you must complete a passenger locator form before you arrive in England and show it at the UK Border. The form can be found here. Completed on-line, your Tour Manager will assist you in completing the form if necessary.

 

As the Ian Allan Aviation Tours website is being redesigned over the next couple of weeks, the on-line booking system is not available. Instead, to book your place – with no deposit necessary at this time - please send an email to aviation.tours@eton-travel.co.uk

 

1 Include your full name (as per your passport)

  1. A contact telephone number (so we may take your payment details: credit/debit card details)
  2. Twin-share or a single room basis

 

For the Belgian tour only: where you will join/leave the group: Hatton Cross or Victoria (if you want to join/leave at the Eurotunnel Terminal please call me on 01487 832922 to discuss)

 

Your place on the tour will be confirmed by yours truly upon receipt.

 

A member of Eton Travel will contact you at some point in July/August to take your payment (in full). Please bear in mind that we are furlough and most of the staff or not in work every day.

 

With the situation as it is, you may well have question so please do not hesitate to call or email me.

June 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

 

Following the latest release yesterday of the latest Red, Amber and Green Travel Lists we are no further forward; in fact it feels like we are “1step forward, 2 steps back”.

 

We had hoped to see Malta and the USA on the Green List and so were extremely disappointed to see neither. We understand that the USA will not go Green before the 4th July, but who knows.

 

Number of people who responded about the trip to Malta was very good and you can add your name to the “Interested” list as you wish.

 

Earlier today I emailed the nearly 70 people who booked or enquired on the 2 tours to Oshkosh, informing them that we had no option but to cancel the tours; we will be offering a long and short tour to next year’s event which runs from 25 – 31 July. Everyone transferring their deposit (or “interest”) to next year will retain their accommodation until they re-book or cancel once the 2022 itinerary and price is released around August. If you did not receive this email please let me know.

 

We live in hope that tours scheduled to the end of August, to Moscow MAKS,  Moscow ARMY and La Ferte Alais will go ahead. A few more bookings for all 3 tours would be very nice. For tours later in the year it is simply too early to contemplate.

 

We all dread the thought of our computer’s hard drive dying on us, which has recently happened to Richard who says “It would be a great help if I can get any data/reg from any airports/museums, repair factories” from the August 2004 tour to Moscow, which included the Flying Aces Airshow.  If anyone can help please let me know and I will forward your email address.

 

For all the other tours and destinations on this year’s programme we await the government’s next Travel Traffic Lights update on the 24th June.

 

Lastly, we hope many of you will travel with us this year on tours that do go. Perhaps on a tour that you would not normally consider. We know that most of you are very keen to travel ASAP, and we really need bookings this year rather than waiting until 2022.

May 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

 

Hope you are safe and well.

 

Last Friday the government announced which countries would be on their Red, Amber or Green Travel Lists, which for the UK travel trade, was a big anti-climax and disappointment. Of the dozen or so ‘Green’ countries on the Green List, Australia is not allowing anyone in to their country until possibly November; the Falkland Islands are entering their winter which is definitely not tourist weather; in Israel  there is civil unrest (which has stopped my ongoing negotiations with the Israeli Air Force in their tracks), but we can go to Portugal – but too late to go to the NATO Tiger Meet!!.  So, to say that we are underwhelmed is an understatement! The government will be reviewing the ‘traffic light’ lists every 21 days, so the next one is due out at the end of May.

 

Over the weekend the Swiss announced that the Hunterfest on St Stephan airfield in September was cancelled, thereby putting the kybosh on our tour to Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland. I have emailed separately all those who were booked/interested on this tour, and the 2022 event will be included in next year’s tour programme.

 

On 9 May the Jean-Baptiste Salis announced that their annual airshow at La Ferte Alais would now be taking place at the end of August.  We have, therefore, changed the dates of our tour to Paris and the airshow to 26-30 August. An email has been sent to those who booked/transferred, or advised of their interest. If you would like to be added to the ‘interested’ list please send me an email. Itinerary is on the website.

 

This morning the Croatian Ministry of Defence announced that the international airshow being held in Zadar at the end of this month was cancelled. We await confirmation of it being held in 2022.

 

As I have just organised a long weekend  23-27 September to the Malta International Airshow, I hope this country will go Green pretty soon. Itinerary to go on our website shortly.  Great airshow – first appearance of the Tunisian Air Force! And the final public appearance of the Luftwaffe’s C-160 Transall, at the end of over 50 years’ service!  Great trip, great for non-aviation minded persons, at a great price! Interested? Email me.

 

We also hope that the USA will be placed on the new Green list at the end of May as its decision time for Oshkosh.  Time to put the 60+ people who have booked on the 2 tours out of their misery! I have to confirm or cancel all the accommodation at the University no later than 10 June or pay cancellations charges.  I have already secured accommodation for Oshkosh 2022. I will announce further details in the June Update.    

 

For all the other tours and destinations on this year’s programme we await the next update at the end of the month.

 

Lastly, we hope many of you will travel with us this year on tours that do go. Perhaps on a tour that you would not normally consider. We know that most of you are very keen to travel ASAP. For tours going this year we really need bookings this year rather than waiting until 2022.

April 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

 

This week’s update by the PM on Monday was a bit of an anti-climax for those in the travel trade, as we were told that a definite date when we can travel abroad would be announced, but it was not. And, more critically and absolutely essential, which countries are on the government’s Red, Amber or Green Travel Lists.  We will only travel to Green countries, ie, those which do not require us to self-isolate or quarantine on arrival back in the UK.

 

With a third wave spreading over mainland Europe, today we cancelled the planned Eastern Europe tour (20-31 May), but for the moment the separate, long weekend trip to the Croatian Airshow, will go ahead. Those on the long tour should have already received an email.

 

We recently had to cancel the NATO Tiger Meet tour, which is going ahead as scheduled; however, the Spotters Days are before the 15th May – the earliest we are allowed to travel overseas. Those booked on the tour have already been sent an email. Anyone who applied for a Spotters Pass should not have paid for it as payment was being collected in cash on the day at the entrance (just look for a very long queue!).

 

The organisers of KADEX recently cancelled the event and moved it to 2022; we have likewise moved our tour, and contacted all those currently booked.

 

The La Ferte Alais trip, 24-29 June, currently remains a ‘go-er’, subject to the French opening their border and allowing tourists to enter - and that the UK government puts France on the Green list.

 

We are keeping a very close watch on the USA who announced this week that they will not require seeing a vaccine passport or proof on arrival. But the situation with the virus is still not ideal. A decision on the Alaskan tour will be made on the 30th April taking into account the current US and UK travel bans and whether Alaska is on the Red, Amber or Green list. If it does not go ahead then I am considering 2 tours, one in September this year and one in May/June 2022.  We currently have nearly 30 bookings plus a list of those “interested” in going.  Ideally we have 2 tours with 15-20 on each. However, before either tour goes ahead, we will actually go to Alaska and do a full recce of the itinerary, knocking on every hanger door to make sure the group would be welcome.

 

I can imagine that the 50+ of you who are booked to go to Oshkosh are starting to sweat a little.  A decision will be made at the beginning of June, again based on any travel bans being lifted and the USA being placed on the  Green list.

 

Still no definite details about the 60th Anniversary of NATO Tigers Association, but lots of you are on the list of those interested in going to it!

 

Our tour to Australia to attend the 100th Anniversary of the RAAF will now depart a week later following a similar change to the date of the airshow, thereby avoiding a clash the same week with the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Once we know which travel category the country is in, I can start to finalise the arrangements and put the final itinerary on the webpage.

 

Many thanks to all those who have already sent in their “I am interested in going on tour…………….”; much appreciated and a great help.  If you haven’t done so yet, please do.

March 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

 

Hope you are all bearing up well in the current lockdown and are looking forward to when we can ‘spread our wings’.  The current ban on travelling abroad is due to end on the 15th May – so long as the Coronavirus continues to go down to an acceptable level. The office of Eton Travel continues to be closed with 99% of the staff, including me, being on furlough. Also, our on-line booking system remains non-operational.

 

We have updated the 2021 Tours page on our website which now includes the itinerary for 227114 CANADA & USA NW STATES.

 

And, a new tour: 227124 CROATIA INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW LONG WEEKEND.   The latter is “Plan B” if it’s not possible to do the full EASTERN EUROPE tour to Serbia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia - a travel ban to any one of the countries stops the tour from going ahead.  At least with this long weekend option you have the opportunity of attending the first ever airshow held in Croatia.  Interested? Then please send me an email. Even if you are already booked on the long tour, I suggest you also register your interest in the shorter long weekend option: just send me an email and your name will be added to those interested.

 

In an ever changing world it’s not possible to look too far ahead, hence I have not referred to tours that are due to go from June onwards, until the travel situation becomes clearer over the coming weeks.

 

Again I would like to stress, it’s VERY IMPORTANT – CRUCIAL – at this point in time that you let us know of any tour or tours that you INTERESTED in.

February 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

 

I hope this email finds you safe and sane!  They say there is light at the end of the tunnel, but they are not saying how long the tunnel is!  Eton Travel is still closed, with only a couple of essential people allowed to come into the office each day.

 

To date we have had to cancel 3 of this year’s tours: Red Flag; Thailand; and Sun N Fun.  Further tours will have to be cancelled whilst the UK’s and various other countries’  travel bans remain in force. Where possible we will include as many of these cancelled tours in 2022 – some have been moved from 2020 to 2021 and will be again, to 2022.

 

The Jean Baptist Salis airshow at La Ferte Alais in France has been put back a month, to June; our tour dates have changed accordingly to 24-28 June.

 

Our 2021 Tours webpage has been updated over the past 24 hours, with many of the tours now including the all-important price!  The 2 or 3 tours not yet costed will be in the next week or so.  Click here to be connected to the 2021 Tours page 

 

Going on the website this week is a new  and exciting trip  to Greenland in September. The Greenland Airports Authority says this will be the first ever group of aviation enthusiasts and photographers to visit them, and they are co-operating 100% to make sure our time with them is a memorable experience.

 

I would ask that you look at the current tour programme and to send me an email listing any that you are interested in; no payment necessary and no obligation on your part.  But it is ESSENTIAL we know how much interest there is.  We know we can’t travel anywhere at the moment, but once we are free to venture forth we would like to see how many of you looking to go places.

ETON TRAVEL GROUP

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Ian Allan Aviation Tours
104-105 High Street
Eton
Windsor
Berkshire SL4 6AF
United Kingdom

tel: +44 (0)1753 671738

Registered in England No. 1732607| Vat Reg No. GB321 2764 86
Registered Office: 104-105 High Street, Eton, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 6AF

As of 2021 – Ian Allan Aviation Tours is now a trading name of Eton Travel Agency Limited