As airport records 1m March passengers...
Surge in sun-seekers expected after Brexit put on hold
Brexit getaway: travellers are heading for a sun spot (pic: Terry Murden)
Barrhead Travel is expecting a surge in late getaways and summer holidays after the announcement of the Brexit delay.
The company said sun-seekers were encouraged by the so-called “flextension”, extending the Brexit deadine to 31 October, and the lifting of any immediate restrictions on travel. The travel industry expressed concern over visas and passports in the build-up to the original 29 March exit date.
A spokesperson for the company said: “With last week’s confirmation from the EU that visas for short stays would not be required and the latest extension on Brexit there is definitely a lot more optimism – and we’re seeing momentum starting to build as the public turn their attention to finalising their holiday plans.
“Travellers will be able to head to Europe this summer with the certainty that nothing is changing in the short-term.”
Barrhead Travel said the top five getaways are all European. The Canary Islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote rank, 1, 4 and 5 respectively, with Majorca and Alicante at 2 and 3. Turkey’s city-resort of Antalya is also in the top ten with Dubai, Orlando and Cancun among the favourites further afield.
The expected surge in bookings coincides with new figures showing more than one million people passed through Edinburgh Airport last month for the first time in March.
A total of 1,106,998 travellers used the airport, up 14.8% on the same month last year, with growth in both the domestic and international markets. The growth is also helped when compared to disruption caused by last year’s Beast from the East.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive at Edinburgh Airport, said: “To get our first ever million passenger March is another milestone for us and shows our variety of destination and types of holidays and trips are really providing for our passengers.
“While these figures are good, we always need to look ahead and consider what is on the horizon and uncertainty caused by Brexit, the expensive aviation tax we face and the impact it has on our airlines. We will continue to work to mitigate and manage those things as best possible and for the benefit of our passengers.”
Popular destinations in March were:
• City destinations: Madrid, Athens, Lisbon, Rome, Helsinki, Paris & Geneva
• Central & Eastern Europe: Gdansk, Warsaw, Krakow, Katowice, Budapest, Prague & Vienna
• Spain: Canary Islands, Alicante, Malaga, Seville & Barcelona
• New York City