Airlines put up cost of flights as soon as destinations are on the UK’s list of no-quarantine countries
Holiday bookings have risen suddenly, now government has said there will be some countries in which people can have quarantine-free holidays. The cost of some airline tickets has already surged, with travel to Portugal’s resorts on May 17, from when the restrictions ease, more than doubling in price in the last two days. Last night, Ryanair was charging £152 for a flight from Stansted to Lisbon, compared with £15 the day before restrictions lift. The airlines say there is pent-up demand for holidays, which justifies the higher cost. Newspapers report that in the minutes after the announcement, the cost of flights from Heathrow to Lisbon rose by 25% – from £264 up to £332. A flight from Stansted to Lisbon increased in price for May 19th from £128 to £262. This is worth remembering next time the airlines complain of the iniquity of government charging £13 Air Passenger Duty (APD), for a return flight to Europe. Airlines often talk of how this puts tourists off, and is unfair etc etc. Note how quick they are to charge even “hard working families” a great deal more, (far more than the tiny APD) even for one annual holiday, as soon as they get the chance.
Flight prices soar before travel green list is revealed
Holiday bookings surged today as Londoners took a punt on destinations they believe will be on the long-awaited “green list” of countries.
These are likely to include Portugal, Iceland and Malta, and possibly also Israel and Gibraltar — with the easing of rules beginning in 10 days.
The “traffic light” system for England will place extra restrictions on trips to “amber” and “red” countries. At present, overseas leisure travel is banned.
Spain, France, Italy and Greece are expected to be on the amber list but could switch to green at a “checkpoint” review on June 28. Assessments will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
People arriving from a green location will not need to quarantine on their return and will have to take one PCR test within two days of arriving. Those returning from an amber country must self-isolate for at least five days and take two tests. The red list requires an 11-night stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750.
There will also be a “green watch list”, to give travellers advance notice of countries about to move to amber or red.
Luis Gallego, chief executive of IAG, urged the Government to “be a bit ambitious in getting global travel back on track”. He wants people who have been vaccinated or tested to be allowed to fly “without restrictions” between the UK and the US. The airline said it will launch a new advertising campaign featuring staff who are “preparing to return to work after a very difficult year”.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not set dates for the restart of foreign holidays.
See also the Guardian
After two flights from London Heathrow to Faro in Portugal sold out at economy fares reaching £530, British Airways has added another departure on the first day that international leisure travel is allowed in England.
The Daily Mail says:
in the minutes after the announcement, flights to Lisbon soared by 25 per cent.
Holidaymakers could have paid £264 at 12pm yesterday for a return ticket from London Heathrow to Lisbon, travelling on May 17 and May 24. But following Mr Shapps’ announcement prices skyrocketed by £68 – with holidaymakers forced to fork out £332 for the same flights.
Those planning getaways to Faro on the Algarve from May 17 will pay inflated prices, as airlines tend to increase the cost of tickets in line with demand.
A British Airways flight from Heathrow to the popular holiday hotspot costs £448 on May 17 compared with £237 two days earlier.
Another flight from Stansted to Lisbon costs £262 on May 19, more than double the price of £128 on May 14.
Airlines etc lobbying again – ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn statement on 23rd November.
Briefing from AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) on why APD needs to be kept, and the rationale for it.
Articles about airlines lobbying for cuts in APD: