By Edward Robertson
Covid-19 and Brexit have failed to dent British travellers’ enthusiasm for travel with 90 per cent planning to fly again in the future and 54 per cent keen to do so in the next year.
A new survey of 2,105 people conducted in February by aviation analytics company Cirium shows that leisure travel remains the key driver, with 81 per cent saying that would be the reason for getting on an aircraft again.
However, with 33 per cent of respondents saying they would book a month or less before departure date, compared to the 66 per cent planning on doing so within one to three months, the booking window remains volatile. Unsurprisingly, the younger the respondent, the more likely they are to leave it to the last minute.
European destinations account for 60 per cent of proposed flights from the UK, although more than half – 52 per cent – of UK travellers said they would be comfortable travelling to Australia.
Meanwhile, only 11 per cent expressed they would feel comfortable flying to China and India, while just 13 per cent would consider a trip to South Africa.
Brits also show a strong preference for UK airlines, with 36 per cent identifying British Airways among their favourites, followed by easyJet in second place. Carriers including Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Ryanair and Jet2.com are also among the top choices.
Cirium CEO Jeremy Bowen said: “Cirium is committed to understanding the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit on UK air travel, and supporting the industry to navigate the changing views of the British public about flying.
“The survey shows that people’s desire to travel remains incredibly resilient and pent-up demand bodes well for travel recommencing. It also helps clarify where the initial demand is likely to be, for example leisure travel from the UK to European destinations.
“This insight may help focus efforts to get UK travel up and running again; for example, providing reassurance for those travellers who are concerned with the extra measures in place for travelling to EU destinations in a post-Brexit world.”