Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

UK Tops European Hotspot List for U.S. Travelers

2 years ago

American tourists are flocking to the UK over other European destinations, new data shows.

Post-Covid pent-up demand has collided with the strong dollar, according to the latest figures from travel agency Trip.com, with a 678 percent surge in searches for U.S. to UK flights in the first six months of 2022, compared to the same period last year.

Overall, its inbound transatlantic booking data showed actual bookings from the U.S. to Europe increased 246 percent.

Booking values are up by 37 percent.

Spain came a close second regarding consumer interest, with a 614 percent increase in flight searches from the U.S., followed by Italy (577 percent) and France (491 percent.)

Trip.com’s Americas chief said travelers appeared to be taking advantage of the weaker European currency.

“We believe the increased value of the strong U.S. dollar versus the weaker euro and fall in the value of Pound Sterling means that US travelers have so much more buying power in Europe, which has helped to mark the continent’s return once more as a major destination for the U.S. market,” said Rich Sun, Trip.com Group’s general manager for the Americas.

The difference in value translates to a 10-15 percent discount, compared to the same time last year.

Airlines

Transatlantic Business Travel Recovery Leads at British Airways

2 years ago

International Airlines Group CEO Luis Gallego said Friday that corporate bookings on its flights to and from North America are leading the recovery of business travel at its airlines, which include British Airways and Iberia.

“Business traffic is coming back,” he said during the group’s first-quarter earnings call on Friday. “We see that. For example, banking finance, the levels are around 65 percent the levels that we had in 2019. That’s a sector that is very important for us.”

Overall corporate demand at IAG has recovered to roughly 67 percent of 2019 levels but it varies widely by airline and market. For example, transatlantic corporate demand is at 90 percent of three years ago at British Airways. And across the group, bookings from large corporate accounts has recovered to 60 percent of 2019, while small- and medium-sized business bookings are at 80 percent. IAG also owns Aer Lingus and Spanish budget carrier Vueling.

The business recovery at IAG puts it in between peers Air France-KLM and the Lufthansa Group. Air France-KLM said Thursday that corporate demand is at 70 percent of 2019, while Lufthansa said the same day that it is only at roughly 50 percent but saw a 30-point improvement during the first quarter.