Airline companies are offering reduced rates for travellers in an effort to kick-start the industry.
The tourism sector has been hit harder than most over recent months – and in a bid to entice customers, discounts of up to half price have been placed on thousands of flights ahead of the ordinarily busy summer season.
While early estimates suggest the sector has suffered losses of nearly £300m, the short term focus won’t be on recouping profits.
Ryanair’s controversial CEO Michael O’Leary nailed his colours to the mast last month, saying his company will “sell at any price to fill seats” even if it meant running at a temporary loss.
‘Non-essential’ travel may still be officially advised against, but countries around Europe are slowly beginning to reopen their borders.
Furthermore, Virgin Atlantic announced this week that they intend resume passenger flights to Orlando and Hong Kong from July 20 in news that offered a glimmer of hope when it comes to the future of longer-haul travel.
Elsewhere, EasyJet have recently spoke of their intention to reopen half of it’s routes by the end of July and then as much as 75% of it’s flight network by the end of August. Flights will restart from over a dozen UK airports early next week, from June 16.
To stave off the competition, the airline have set up their own sale for flights between now and the year’s end priced at less than £30.
Commercial officer Robert Carey said: “We’re passionate about helping our customers get back flying, which is why we’re offering one million seats at £29.99 for those planning on booking a holiday this summer.”
In their bid to get a leg up on the competition, EasyJet have also this week released details on flights up to the end of May 2021. It’s thought and hoped that while many of their customers will be apprehensive for the remainder of this year, the industry should be back to it’s previous normality by this point.
Meanwhile, up until next Saturday, June 20, Ryanair will continue to run their limited flight schedule in their effort to ‘maintain vital links’.
From the beginning of July, however, the airline will restore up to 40% of it’s regular schedule with full details on routes, frequency and times available on their website. Prices for flights from July 1 currently start from £39.99.
Ryanair have also removed rescheduling fees for holidays booked throughout July and August. The move has been made to provide passengers “peace of mind if their travel plans change” and can be redeemed until the year’s on 31 December.
What countries are open?
The status of countries around Europe range between closed, partially closed and open.
Many have pending measures in place that will see holidaymakers welcomed between this Monday, June 15, and July 1.
One handy tool you can use to find out which destinations are opening their doors to the public is “The Deckchair Index” produced by HolidayExtras.
Out of what it describes as “the UK’s most popular holiday destinations”, the number that have announced they will welcome British tourists stands at 15% They estimate that the number ought to go up to around 40% before the end of the year.