Airports across the United Kingdom are poised to see a return to travel figures almost return to pre-pandemic numbers, with 83,136 departures planned for June. The sudden rebound of the British aviation industry has seen flights bounce up 241% compared to June 2021 and 823% from June 2020.
Hot and not
Turkey and Greece have seen the biggest growth in flight numbers, likely due to their relaxed travel policies compared to other Southern holiday hotspots. Since May 2, Greece has dropped all entry restrictions, with all international travelers no longer required to present a COVID pass upon entry. Flights across the Greek mainland and its island destinations have seen a 24.2% increase compared to 2019, while Turkey is up 34.5%.
Flights from the UK to Greece have increased by almost 25%, likely thanks to the country’s relaxed coronavirus policies. Photo: Aegean Airlines
Comparatively, Spain, which recently extended its stringent coronavirus restrictions until June 15, has seen an 8.8% decline in flights compared to 2019 figures. However, Spain remains the most popular destination for UK travelers, with almost 13,000 flights departing to cities across the Iberian coast.
The most surprising drop has been in the United Arab Emirates, which has seen flights decrease by almost 32% compared to June 2019. Despite the styling of Dubai as a “covid-free” destination during the pandemic and imposing fairly relaxed restrictions on international travelers, the gulf state has yet to see UK travel numbers return to pre-pandemic levels. The lowered flight frequencies could be caused by hesitance on long-haul travel as fuel prices skyrocketing, with the United States also seeing a 14.7% decrease in flights.
Yes for Fes?
Interestingly, one country is on the rise: Morocco. The North African nation is seeing a leap in popularity as it begins to reopen for holidaymakers. Pre-pandemic, the country saw 13 million overseas arrivals, with 600,000 from the UK, making it the second-largest market for Moroccan tourism. Based on current flight figures, the country is expected to see an increase past 2019 levels.
The Moroccan tourism board (MNTO) has announced plans to grow the sector even further with a new promotional campaign to rebrand itself as the “Kingdom of Light.” The campaign focuses on Morocco’s rich cultural heritage, displaying its natural environment, history, beach, sport, and leisure offerings.
As reported by Travel Weekly, speaking at a press event on Friday, Chief Executive at MNTO Adel El Fakir celebrated the surge in popularity of the destination.
“We are delighted to reconnect with travel industry partners in the UK as Morocco prepares for a rapid revival in 2022. The tourism industry is critical to our economy, which before the pandemic, represented 7% of GDP,” El Fakir said. “With the restart, since early February, of international tourism in Morocco and the ease of entry conditions from May 17, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors once again to explore everything our spectacular country has to offer.”
Are you heading off on holiday this June? Where will you be visiting? Let us know in the comments.
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