17 Dec

The great festive getaway

ABTA - The Travel Association estimates that 3 million – will be heading overseas over the Christmas and New Year period [17 December – 3 January] for some truly well-deserved, and hard-earned sunshine or snow.

BA passengers are breathing a huge sigh of relief that they will now be able to enjoy the plans they have laid down for the festive season.

Christmas and New Year is traditionally one of the peak getaway periods of the year, and amazingly, despite the recession, this year will be no different, as just as many people as last year are looking to getaway from the stresses and strains of a difficult financial year to relax and have fun with loved ones.

Early snow in Europe has meant that the ski season opened early. Geneva is the main gateway to the Alps and the top destination for many skiers flying out of the UK. 

For the majority, however, sun is the priority, and with freezing temperatures descending onto the UK, many will be looking for some welcome warm respite in destinations such as Tenerife, Egypt, Dubai, Turkey and the Caribbean.

The busiest days before Christmas are today Thursday 17 and Friday 18 and Wednesday 23 December. Many will also be looking to take short New Year breaks to cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Dublin and New York.

Over two million people will be leaving the country through BAA airports, which include Heathrow where 1.5 million will be leaving, Stansted 400,000, Southampton 31,000 and the main Scottish airports, Glasgow 150,000, Edinburgh 105,000 and Aberdeen 45,000. In addition 500,000 will fly from Gatwick, 320,000 from Manchester, 250,000 from Luton and 70,000 from Newcastle, 136,400 from Birmingham, 70,000 from East Midlands

Over 200,000 will travel over or under the English Channel with a further 225,000 travelling away by Eurostar.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “Holidays – especially at this time of year – can provide happy, lifelong memories and an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. While passengers booked on BA must be breathing a huge sigh of relief as they can now look forward to their long-planned for holiday, our sympathy goes out to all those affected by the failure of Globespan.”