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CCN, 22 March 2019: The EU throws Theresa May one last Brexit lifeline
At the end of a dramatic day here in Brussels, Theresa May was thrown what could very well be her last Brexit lifeline. At 11.20 p.m. local time, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, finally announced that 27 EU leaders had agreed unanimously on a response to the British Prime Minister’s request to delay Brexit and avoid a chaotic split on March 29. And to everyone’s surprise, they offered her two options. First, a short delay, giving the UK until May 22 to get its affairs in order before leaving the EU. But that option is only available if lawmakers in the House of Commons approve May’s overall withdrawal deal next week. Alternatively, option two kicks in if May loses the third «meaningful» vote on her deal. That allows the UK to stay in the EU until April 12, at which point it must make a choice: Take part in the European parliamentary elections in May and seek a longer delay to Brexit, or don’t. Should it come to it, the implications of that decision will be the next big Brexit bust-up. Link

BBC, 21 March 2019: ‘Cancel Brexit’ petition passes 2m signatures on Parliament site

A petition calling for Theresa May to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 has passed two million signatures. Parliament’s petitions committee tweeted that the rate of signatures was «the highest the site has ever had to deal with», after the website crashed. Link

BBC, 21 March 2019: Europe’s no-deal preparation ‘falls short’
Business lobby groups have written to the European Commission, warning that its own no-deal Brexit plans «fall short of what is needed to limit major disruptions», Newsnight has learned. The letter is from Business Europe – an umbrella body for lobby groups across the EU, including Britain’s CBI. It warns of possible disruption to flights, drug supply shortages and data-sharing interruptions. The Commission said it was in frequent contact with stakeholders. But the document suggests European companies – not just UK firms – are extremely nervous about the economic repercussions of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March. Link

Travel Mole, 21 March 2019: Short Brexit delay ‘bad news for travel’

Theresa May’s decision to ask European Union leaders to postpone Brexit for three months is bad news for the travel industry, according to AITO director Noel Josephides. He said a longer delay would have been better. The Sunvil chairman said: «We’ve already had three months of uncertainty and a delay until June ‎29 merely continues the agony and adds another three months of uncertainty for the travel industry.» Link

Travel Weekly, 22 March 2019: UK flight departure delays and cancellations ‘getting worse’
A new study claims that the number of flight departure delays and cancellations at UK airports rose by 72% since 2015. Last year saw the biggest increase of 33% in flights cancelled or delayed over three hours compared to 2017, when only 1.31% of flights were affected, according to flight delay compensation law firm Bott and Co. Link

Travel Weekly, 21 March 2019: British travellers warned of heightened terror threat in Morocco
A warning over a heightened threat of terrorism in Morocco was issued yesterday. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office reviewed its travel advice to the North African country, which attracts around 650,000 UK travellers a year. Link

Travel Weekly, 21 March 2019: Stansted prepares for summer with major investment
Stansted has invested in its facilities and staff as it prepares for a record-breaking summer season. The airport experienced its busiest summer last year with 8.4 million passengers passing through between June and August, with 10,000 in one day at its peak. Link

Buying Business Travel, 20 March 2019: Wizz Air launches two Poland routes

Low-cost carrier Wizz Air has announced it will launch services from Gatwick to Gdansk and Birmingham to Krakow later this year. Starting 15 June, the airline will add daily flights from Gatwick to Gdansk. Gatwick will be the fifth airport in Wizz Air’s network to connect the UK to the Polish port city, joining Aberdeen, Doncaster Sheffield, Liverpool and Luton. Link

Travel Weekly, 22 March 2019: Milan Bergamo added to BA’s Gatwick network
A new Italian air link from Gatwick is being opened by British Airways later in the year. The airline is to serve Milan Bergamo from September 1 with six flights a week. Fares start at £25 one-way. BA is also raising winter capacity to Cancun in Mexico to five flights a week. Link

Travel Mole, 22 March 2019: EasyJet firms up no-deal Brexit contingency plan
EasyJet has laid out plans to suspend the voting rights of a small number of shares to comply with EU ownership rules if there’s a no-deal Brexit. In a statement today, it said its Board stands ready to activate the contingency plan of suspending shareholders’ voting rights in respect of a small number of shares on a ‘last in first out’ basis in order to comply. EasyJet said its EU ownership, excluding British shareholders, has increased to 49.92% but is still below the 50% plus 1 share that will ultimately be required following Brexit. Link

Travel Weekly, 22 March 2019: Thomas Cook puts 320 staff under consultation
Thomas Cook has put 320 shop staff under consultation and announced plans to close 21 stores following a review of its retail performance. Cook said 64% of its bookings were made online last year – up 30% year on year. Link

Travel Mole, 22 March 2019: Term-time holiday fines almost double

The number of penalties issued for term-time absences mushroomed by 93% to almost 223,000 in 2017/18 compared to the previous year.
‘Unauthorised family holiday absence’ was the most common reason for attendance fines, according to the Department for Education. Link

Travel Weekly, 22 March 2019: Mature market turns to domestic breaks
Domestic tourism among the over-50s provides a “big opportunity” for agents in light of uncertainty around Brexit. Recent data showed domestic breaks have grown in popularity among the older demographic, with 42% stating a UK-based holiday or country-house hotel stay was their preferred type of holiday, up from 37% the year before. Link

Travel Bulletin, 21 March 2019: Holiday-loving Brits cutting back on gastronomy and garments
Researchers found that 25% of respondents would cut back on eating out, 18% would limit their spending on clothing and accessories, and 17% would spend less on electronic gadgets. Other items people are willing to spend less on in order to afford to travel include alcohol, cigarettes and takeaway meals. Leisure activities, such as going to the cinema and concerts, were activities people were least likely to cut back on at 11%. The study points to British people viewing holidays as a necessity rather than a luxury, with 86% of the population saying they took a holiday, either at home or abroad in 2018. Link

Travel Mole, 18 March 2019: Egypt’s tourism recovery continues
Egypt’s tourism is continuing to bounce back thanks to improved security, according to the latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council. Tourism figures grew 16.5% last year, making it the fastest-growing country in North Africa and second only to Ethiopia in the whole continent. Link


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