Brexit boosts Flight bookings to the UK

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

heathrow t2 queenFlight bookings to the UK were boosted by 7.1% after the referendum vote to leave the European Union, according to the latest data from ForwardKeys which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day.

In the face of worldwide economic uncertainty, terrorism and air traffic disruption, the aftermath of the referendum requiring Britain to leave the Eurozone, flight arrivals have seen an uplift during the last month, driven by demand coming from the US and Asia Pacific.

In the 28 days before the 23 June poll, flight reservations were running 2.8% behind the same period last year. In the month after the Brexit decision, they were up 4.3%.

Bookings from Europe were up 5.0%, buoyed by the pound’s fall against the Euro following the referendum. Non-European arrivals were up by an even bigger margin, increasing 8.7%.

The 10% drop in the value of sterling after the referendum sharpened interest in the UK as a holiday destination from countries around the world. Bookings from Hong Kong rose 30.1%, the US was up 9.2%, Canada was up 7.4% and the United Arab Emirates was up 7%.

The most favourable exchange rate in decades is probably the major driver for the uptake in bookings to Britain. During the analysed period, ForwardKeys identified “positive” and “passive” reactions from source destinations after the Brexit referendum.

The number of bookings from the USA and Canada increased considerably, likely related to good economic growth and depreciation of Sterling.

While Chinese bookings have been steady before and after the 23rd of June, Hong Kong showed a substantial increase. This difference could possibly be explained by the need of a visa by Chinese travellers while HongKongers do not, in addition to the strong ties the peninsula holds with its former ruler.

Looking ahead, the post-Brexit bounce is also lifting bookings through to the autumn. Olivier Jager, ForwardKeys Co-founder and CEO said: “It’s now confirmed that Brexit had an immediate, positive impact on inbound tourism to the UK, which is converting into better than anticipated arrivals. In the months ahead, our data will show whether this post-Brexit bounce is sustained.”

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