Industry analyst GfK reported a second successive week of positive trading as MPs prepared to vote on a revised Brexit ‘deal’ on Tuesday.
Summer 2019 bookings were up 1% year on year in the week to March 9. All-inclusive bookings in the week were up 8% year on year.
David Hope, senior client insight director at GfK, said: “The market has definitely picked up.”
Season-to-date bookings for the summer remain 2% up year on year and winter 2018-19 bookings up 4%. The pick-up in bookings came amid hopes MPs would end the immediate uncertainty around Brexit. Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer told Travel Weekly: “An abrupt departure and no deal would be bad for the industry and customers.
“This week may remove that possibility. If no deal is taken off the table, we’ll be in a better place.”
Parliament appeared set to reject prime minister May’s Brexit deal for a second time, in which case the government promised MPs a vote on a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday. Previous votes suggest MPs would rule out no deal. They would then vote on whether they want a “limited extension to Article 50” to delay Britain’s exit from the EU.
International Airlines Group chief executive Willie Walsh told an Airlines for Europe Summit in Brussels last week: “We really need the politicians to resolve this. But I’m confident we’ll manage whatever comes.”
The EU confirmed last week that UK-EU flights would operate as normal in the event of no deal and removed a previous threat to cap UK airlines’ capacity to Europe at the level of last summer.
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