Ash crisis leads to 30 percent surge in Eurotunnel bookings

Ash crisis leads to 30 percent surge in Eurotunnel bookings

The widespread disruption to European flight schedules due to the ash cloud has led to a 30 percent surge in Eurotunnel’s online bookings.

The Channel Tunnel operator is experiencing unprecedented booking activity, which has also been boosted by the uncertainty surrounding a possible British Airways strike.

“Passengers want to take control of their travel plans,” a spokesman for Eurotunnel said. “We are seeing a 50 per cent increase in visits to our website and bookings are up 30 per cent.”

The operator also says it is experiencing a surge of business travellers buying fully flexible tickets to take their cars through the tunnel.

More than 1,000 flights to and from European airports were cancelled this week. Most airports across the UK were closed over the weekend, with Heathrow and Gatwick shut from Sunday evening until Monday afternoon. Amsterdam Schiphol airport cancelled 500 flights and left 60,000 passengers stranded.

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The volcano has also given the ferry industry a boost. Operators experienced a surge in passenger numbers last month, with thousands returning to the UK by sea, and demand remains high. Rates for crossings have soared. It will cost at least £1,000 to take a family and car to northern Spain by ferry during the school summer holidays.