Foreign holiday flights taking off again as families jet away for summer

With the first weekend of the school summer holidays fast approaching, many families are poised to jet away to the sun for a much-needed break.

More people have been snapping up bargain breaks overseas but there’s a long-haul ahead before air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Analysis by travel data and analytics expert Cirium, has revealed the top summer European holiday destinations that have recovered best.

Cirium analysts compared flight data between the first weekend of the school summer holidays for 2019 and 2021 to reveal the recovery trends – as well as identifying which UK-based airline tops the flight schedules for European-bound short-haul holidaymakers.

Top destinations

  • For the weekend of July 23-25, 2021, UK airlines are scheduled to operate 2,102 flights with 392,750 seats from the UK to the top European holiday destinations of France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey
  • This figure is 47% down on the comparable weekend of July 26-28 in 2019, when nearly 4,000 scheduled flights operated, equating to 699,471 seats.
  • Greece was the destination which recovered the most, with 352 flights scheduled for the holiday weekend in 2021, just 5% lower than the 372 flights operated the comparable weekend in 2019
  • In joint second place is Spain and Turkey, with flights to both countries 34% lower than in 2019. Flights operated to Spain fell from 1,520 in 2019 to 996 scheduled in 2021.
  • Meanwhile, flights operated to Turkey dropped from 221 in 2019 to 146 in 2021
  • In third place is Portugal with 313 flights operated in 2019, compared to 205 scheduled to operate in 2021, which is a fall of 59%
  • In fourth position is Italy, with 544 flights operated in 2019, compared to 190 scheduled to operate in 2021, which is a drop of 65%

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  • France lies in fifth place, with 532 flights operated in 2019, whereas there are 135 flights scheduled for 2021, down 75%
  • In sixth place is Germany, with 449 flights scheduled in 2019 compared to just 78 scheduled to operate for 2021, indicating a fall of 83%.

Busiest UK airline operating flights to Greece was TUI with 96 services, closely followed by easyJet with 71 and Jet2 with 66.

Top UK-based airlines with scheduled flights to Greece.

GREEK FLIGHTS

Flights

TUI Airways Limited

96

easyJet

71

Jet2.com Limited

66

British Airways

60

Ryanair

39

Aegean Airlines

10

Wizz Air UK Limited

9

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