Madrid, July 19 (EFE) .- The number of flights between the UK and Spain has increased by 400% since July 8, as UK holidaymakers take advantage of new rules which mean UK residents returning to England from so-called orange destinations only need to observe a quarantine period if they are fully vaccinated.
Data from the Spanish Airlines Association will be good news for the Spanish tourism industry, which has seen bookings surge as UK beachgoers scramble to travel abroad this summer.
“Today alone there are 31 flights from the UK, which represents some 6,000 people,” Toni Mayor, president of Hosbec, an association of hotel and tourism companies in Valencia, told Efe.
Hotel occupancy is around 65%, the mayor said, with around 15-20% more tourist establishments open compared to last summer.
Following the announcement of the rule change in England, low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet have added new routes between Spain and the UK.
Ryanair said flight bookings to Spain have increased 500% since last week, reaching a new record since September 2019, with Alicante, Malaga, Tenerife and Murcia the most popular destinations.
Despite the fact that the easing of restrictions in the UK has had a positive impact on Spain, its summer season remains “very volatile and unstable”, the president of the Spanish tourism association Exceltur, Gabriel Escarrer told Efe. .
Last week, the UK government announced it would remove the Balearic Islands, which have reported a spike in coronavirus cases, from its no-quarantine green list on Monday, leading to many holiday cancellations as unvaccinated Britons cut their plans short. vacation.
At least 68% of UK residents who have been fully vaccinated against severe symptoms of Covid-19.
UK visitors are essential for Spain’s very important tourism industry, which in 2019 saw over 18 million arrivals from the UK. EFE