STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Association of Balearic Travel Agents (Aviba) denied yesterday that holiday bookings to the Islands were being cancelled because of the spread of swine flu and in particular because of the death of a 33-year-old Nigerian woman from the disease in Palma last week.

Aviba's Joan Oliver, said he “had no evidence” that holidays in the Balearics were being cancelled because of the swine flu. “The situation hasn't deteriorated to that point,” he claimed. He added that in any event, there were far more cases of the spread of the virus in the United Kingdom so people would not be avoiding any risk by cancelling their holiday.

Oliver was asked about news that had emerged over the past few days that people who were showing symptoms of swine flu at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports were not being allowed on the aircraft. He said that he believed it was perfectly “normal” practice which had been adopted by all countries. “It's two-and-a-half hours flying time between the United Kingdom and here,” he said. “Just one person could infect everyone on the plane.” Speaking about the level of holiday bookings which had already been made to the Balearics by people in key client countries, Oliver said Aviba was “waiting to see” what would happen as things were “a bit quiet” at the moment. The only brisk business was in last minutet sales, he said, adding that “nevertheless, things aren't as bad as we feared earlier in the year.”

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