France holiday bookings surge and Spain ready to bounce back

In more positive news, tourism in Spain is forecast to recover strongly in 2022 and is set to “come close” to pre-Covid levels.

Meanwhile, an investigation has found how two Ryanair aircraft were involved in a “near miss” at a Spanish airport, while the US aviation regulator has revealed how 2021 was a record year for “bad behaviour” by airline passengers.

Down Under, the Novak Djokovic affair has taken a dramatic new turn after Australia cancelled his visa for a second time amid the row over his vaccination status.

Here are the headlines the travel industry woke up to on Friday (14 January).

French holiday bookings surge after rule change

Holiday bookings to France have “jumped” after the French government said it would ease restrictions on UK travellers from Friday (14 January). Ski operators and other travel firms said they had seen an “immediate” rush of bookings and enquiries for France following the announcement. (BBC News)

Spanish tourism predicted to reach 88% of pre-Covid level in 2022

Spain’s crucial tourism sector will “come close” to reaching its pre-pandemic size in 2022, according to a travel industry association. Although the spread of the Omicron variant and supply issues is likely to prevent a full recovery this year. Spain was the world’s second most visited country before the pandemic. (Reuters)

Djokovic has Australian visa cancelled for second time

Australia has cancelled tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time in the row over his right to stay in the country while he is unvaccinated. The decision by immigration minister Alex Hawke means Djokovic faces being deported, but the Serbian can still launch another legal challenge to remain in Australia. (The Guardian)

2021 was a ‘terrible’ year for bad behaviour in the skies

Data from the US aviation regulator shows that 2021 was the worst year on record for “unruly” passenger behaviour on US flights. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) logged nearly 6,000 incidents of bad behaviour by passengers last year including assaults on crew, intoxication and verbal abuse. The FAA added that more than 70% of these incidents were related to the wearing of masks. (CNN)

Two Ryanair aircraft narrowly avoided crash at Spanish airport

An investigation has revealed that two Ryanair aircraft had a “near miss” at Malaga airport two years ago, when an air traffic controller gave permission for one aircraft to land on a runway where another flight was about to take off. The two aircraft came within 520 metres of each other – only 16% of the minimum recommended safety margin. (The Independent)

Parties held in Downing Street on eve of Prince Philip’s funeral

It has been revealed that two parties were held at No 10 for staff in April 2021 on the night before the Queen was forced to sit alone during her husband’s funeral, due to the strict lockdown rules in force at the time. (The Telegraph)