UK airlines set to benefit from staycation summer demand, says GlobalData

UK airlines could be set for a scorching summer across their domestic routes. The demise of Flybe in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have left plenty of options for domestic route expansion due to many operators scaling back capacity to reduce costs, and these could bear fruit for airlines this summer, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Gus Gardner, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Brits don’t want yet another summer wasted inside.”

A GlobalData poll revealed that 43%* of global respondents expect to take a domestic trip within the next 12 months. Given the continued success of the UK vaccine rollout and dwindling case rates, the UK is set for an upward trend in domestic travel. Airlines are preparing themselves to capitalize on this trend.

Gardner continues: “easyJet and Loganair have added domestic capacity for the UK market, with new routes set to launch in anticipation of travelers seeking holidays closer to home this summer. With European travel still looking uncertain, domestic aviation is a safer bet for carriers and passengers. Demand will be high as people who were looking to travel abroad will now be looking for a much-needed change of scenery along with a decreased risk of cancelation. Domestic travel can offer this more convincingly in the current climate.”

GlobalData’s consumer survey has shown that 44%** of UK respondents rank accessibility as one of the top deciding factors when choosing a holiday.

Gardner adds: “With an increase in domestic routes, consumers will be more than willing to travel as they seek the easiest options available. With shorter journey times than both road and rail, passengers will be looking towards air travel. The UK has a strong holiday offering and will be an attractive option for many travelers this summer looking to get away somewhere they feel safe and secure.”

Flybe left a gap in the UK domestic market and consumers will be receptive to any new routes as a result. With summer 2021 shaping up to have an even higher level of demand in the domestic market than 2020, airlines will be looking for the easiest ways to deploy capacity. The domestic market makes sense in the short term to satisfy the increased propensity to fly domestically and will hopefully be less impacted by any changes to travel restrictions.

Gardner concludes: “As UK domestic tourism looks set for another restricted summer, airlines establishing regional connectivity will be in a strong position to strengthen their recovery from the pandemic. Although some European travel is likely to recommence this summer, domestic holidays will still remain the favorite among UK travelers, much to the benefit of UK airlines’ domestic expansion.”

* GlobalData Live Tracker Verdict Poll of 1,106 respondents, Live since 17th November 2020.

** Data taken from GlobalData’s survey of 901 UK respondents- Fieldwork undertaken Q3 2018.

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