• Travellers and travel agents

Travel Weekly, 9 January 2019, ‘Seismic shift’ in over-50s seeking adventure holidays
Saga is seeing a “seismic shift” in older people seeking luxury holidays combining off-the-beaten track adventure. New research reveals that over-50s are more likely to opt for destinations such as Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan, with the hope of a more unusual and adventurous holiday in 2019. (Link)

  • Tourism industry

Travel Weekly, 10 January 2019, More extended-stay holidays sold on Sunshine Saturday

Many people are opting to extend their main annual holiday with increases in ten night and two week durations across European beach destinations, according to Travel Republic. The OTA’s ‘Sunshine Saturday’ weekend booking data showed Cyprus achieving the biggest year-on-year growth in long stay holidays at 18%, followed by Turkey with a 16% increase and Spain up 6%. (Link)

Travel Mole, 11 January 2019, Manchester Airports Group records over 61m passengers in 2018
MAG, the operator of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, finished 2018 on a high as each airport welcomed more passengers in December than in the equivalent month the previous year. The December growth rounded off a successful 2018 for MAG, as 61.1m passengers used its airports, representing an 8.2% year-on-year increase. (Link)

  • Brexit

Travel Weekly, 10 January 2019, Brexit uncertainty ‘not stopping holiday bookings’

Uncertainty over Brexit failed to dent bookings in the crucial first week of January, according to travel add-ons specialist Holiday Extras. January 7 was the firm’s third-highest booking day ever in its 35-year history. This is proof that holidaymakers are planning trips for the year ahead as usual, undaunted by Brexit on the horizon, the company claimed. (Link)

Travel Weekly, 10 January 2019, Cruise specialists offered official advice on Brexit
The government issued official guidance this week on passenger travel to the EU by air, rail or sea after Brexit, especially if there is a no-deal.The guidance covering cruising says: “From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, cruise operations will continue on the same basis as today. (Link)

Travel Weekly, 10 January 2019, Sales slow after Sunday Times Brexit chaos story

Industry concerns about media stories of Brexit “chaos” appear justified after analyst GfK confirmed pre-Christmas bookings fell following a report in The Sunday Times. The newspaper’s front page on December 16 reported: “No-deal Brexit travel warning: don’t go on holiday after March 29.” The Sunday Times suggested government contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit would include advice “not to book holidays after March” and reported officials had “war-gamed the impact” amid fears “it might bankrupt” tour operators. GfK confirmed this week that summer 2019 bookings plunged in the fortnight following. (Link)

Travel Weekly, 10 January 2019, Consumers shrugging off Brexit concerns and booking Europe
Brexit is not preventing people booking tours to continental Europe during the peaks. River cruise and touring specialist APT Travel reported a doubling in sales for a 15-day Amsterdam to Budapest itinerary since December. Brexit uncertainty has not held holidaymakers back, according to managing director Paul Melinis. “Like most of the industry we’ve been braced for a challenging peak period, but sales so far have surpassed our expectations,” he said. (Link)

  • Airlines

Travel Mole, 11 January 2019, United Airlines replaces Delta as world’s second-largest carrier
United Airlines has reclaimed the world’s number-two spot for passenger traffic.(Link)

Travel Weekly, 11 January 2019, Virgin Atlantic consortium swoops to rescue Flybe
Virgin Atlantic and Southend airport owner Stobart Group are to rescue troubled Flybe. The UK regional carrier, which recently reported a 54% drop in half-year profits, is to be acquired by a consortium led by Stobart Aviation, Virgin Atlantic and hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners. The deal will involve a new joint venture called Connect Airways also acquiring Flybe franchise partner Stobart Air. (Link)

  • Competitors

Travel Weekly, 11 January 2019, Direct air link with Ankara takes off from Gatwick

The first direct Turkish Airlines service between the UK and Ankara took off from Gatwick yesterday. Two flights a week will run to the capital of Turkey using a Boeing 737-800 in a two-class configuration with 16 seats in business class and 135 in economy. The flag carrier is the only airline to offer direct flights to Turkey’s second largest city from the UK year-round although Sun Express operates from Luton in the summer. Fares on the Gatwick route start at £247 return. (Link)

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