Feature News — 17 April 2019
  • Birmingham Airport expecting a 7% increase in Easter fliers this year
  • This year, Dublin is the most popular destination with Amsterdam coming second
  • By 2030, if UK airspace isn’t modernised 25,000 UK mini-breakers each year will have their weekend trips affected by flight cancellations

Data from Our Future Skies, reveals Dublin is the most popular destination for those travelling from Birmingham airport this Easter, with more than 11,500 passengers looking to fly there over the coming Bank Holiday weekend. Amsterdam is the second most popular destination, followed by Dubai.

Birmingham Airport is predicting a 7% increase in Easter fliers this year, and according to the latest research by ComRes, two in five Brits (39%) expect their level of demand for overseas air travel to rise, expecting to take more flights in the next two years than in the past two years. The past decade has seen a steady increase in Brits flying abroad for their Easter mini-breaks. There has been a 55% increase in the number of Easter trips taken in the past five years (2014-2018) compared to the preceding five years (2009-2013).

Our Future Skies, organisations from across the aviation industry brought together to highlight the need for airspace modernisation, today (17th April) warned that, unless the UK modernises the way planes are guided to and from our busy airports, delays faced by passengers are likely to soar. UK mini-breakers could face 50 times more delays in ten years’ time than today. Eight-thousand last minute cancellations are also expected every year by 2030 due to increased demand.

Despite a significant increase in air traffic over the last 60 years, flights coming in and out of the UK still use a network of flight corridors designed in the 1950s for aeroplanes that flew lower and slower. That is why the UK government and the Civil Aviation Authority believes that airspace modernisation is necessary and is providing leadership to support this. The aviation industry is coming together to deliver the benefits through a coordinated airspace modernisation programme.

Modernising airspace will create more capacity in our future skies. This is a great opportunity for existing and new operators to open up more destinations, providing more choice for passengers. Modernising will also help reduce carbon emissions and minimise the risk of delays.

Without the much-needed upgrades to our future skies, by 2030 3.5 million UK passengers will lose more than half an hour to getaway delays. This will also cost the economy 20-25 million pounds.  In an increasingly busy world, holiday time spent with family and friends is precious and every minute counts.

Karen Dee, AOA CEO, said on behalf of Our Futures Skies said:

“Easter is a really important time for people catching up with family. No one wants their long weekend ruined by a delayed flight. Flying has never been more accessible or more convenient, however, the infrastructure behind our much-loved minibreaks is very complicated. Unless our airspace is modernised, delays will start to impact more of us, more often – putting the punctuality we’ve come to expect, and rely on, at risk. Which means we need to modernise our airspace, so we manage our future skies in an efficient and more environmentally friendly manner.”

Kurt Janson, Director of Tourism Alliance said:

“Long weekends, especially around Easter time, are so valuable for people who want to have a quick break from the everyday or take the time to see family and friends. It’s clear that Brits love to travel and important initiatives like airspace modernisation will help keep that a reality, without the dreaded forecast delays.”

Find out more online at OurFutureSkies.uk or @OurFutureSkies.

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