Flights out of Scotland could resume within three weeks, as travel restrictions begin to ease. 

Tui airways has expressed "absolute confidence" that their holiday programme can return within three weeks as the UK Government relaxes travel restrictions.

The airline announced it will serve eight destinations across Spain and Greece from July 11.

Holidays will be available to the Greek islands of Crete, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu, as well as Tenerife and Lanzarote, two of Spain’s Canary Islands, and Majorca and Ibiza in the Balearics.

Richard Sofer, Tui’s commercial director, acknowledged that these plans to restart the service rely on the Government easing travel restrictions and the two-week quarantine for international arrivals.

He said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) would need to alter its advice against all non-essential oversea travel, and “air bridges” would be required to enable people to travel between the UK and other countries without needing to go into self-isolation for 14 days at either end.

Mr Sofer said: “Due to the size of our organisation we’ve been able to have a presence in each of those Government conversations through our aviation team or through the senior members of the UK business.

“We’re well-informed of where those discussions are.

“Obviously many of those conversations are confidential but that gives us great confidence to open up a small programme to a couple of really key countries, eight key gateways for us.

“We have absolute confidence that we’re going to be getting a positive result from the Government in time for July.”

Tui has not yet set a provisional date for resuming long-haul trips.

Rival travel firm Jet2holidays also has plans to resume its programme of flights on July 15, but has already been forced to extend the suspension of its operations several times during the pandemic.

Tui, the UK's largest tour operator, has already begun taking customers from Germany on holiday, and trips to Portugal’s Algarve are operating this week.

Mr Sofer described the FCO’s stance on travel advice as “slightly unhelpful from a planning point of view."

He went on: “Our European colleagues have benefited where they’ve had clear lines in the sand and dates to be working to.

“The UK position is effectively just under review, so it’s uncertain.”

Mr Sofer said customers can expect “slight changes” if they go on a Tui holiday this summer, including social distancing in resorts, but insisted they will “still have a brilliant experience."

He said: “When customers are in their hotels, on the beach, using the vast majority of the attractions and facilities in destinations, they’re going to be able to enjoy those destinations and experiences as they would under normal circumstances.

“We’re not expecting hotels to be as full as they would have been pre-Covid-19.

“That will be helpful for creating extra spaces and allowing social distancing to be fulfilled without too much intervention and disruption to people’s holidays.”