More Britons than ever will be boarding long-haul flights this half-term, according to data released today by Gatwick Airport.
With the UK in the midst of a cold-snap, increasing numbers of Brits will be getting out of Europe seeking to banish the winter blues and replace them with some winter sun.
Some 30 per cent more passengers than last year will be spending half-term in a long-haul destination.
Dubai, Bridgetown (Barbados) and Orlando top the list of Brits’ favourite winter getaway destinations, while the love affair with New York continues, with a 93 per cent increase in passengers flying out to the Big Apple.
Overall passenger numbers at the airport are expected to be 14 per cent higher across half-term compared to 2016.
The busiest day for passengers flying out of the airport was Sunday, February 12th, when the number of passengers flying out was 11 per cent up on the equivalent day in 2016.
Short haul destinations favoured by passengers this half-term include Geneva, with ski-loving Brits flocking to the slopes, Dublin, and the warmer climes of Barcelona.
With the popularity of long-haul flights increasing, Brits’ favourite destinations have changed significantly over the last decade.
The family-friendly sun of Orlando has been replaced by the sandy appeal of Dubai along with also the likes of Cancun and Toronto rising in popularity.
Meanwhile, the appeal of American cities remains strong as New York, Las Vegas and, new addition, Los Angeles all make the 2017 top ten.
Gatwick Airport head of airline relations Stephen King said: “In the past many Brits might have waited until the Easter Holidays to jet off, but we’re seeing an ever growing number of travellers fly out in February, either for the slopes, a city break or some much needed sunshine.
“With more long haul routes on offer, the idea of jetting off to the likes of Dubai, the US, Caribbean and South America is becoming easier than ever and increasingly appealing.”
Top ten long-haul destinations from London Gatwick in 2017:
- New York
- Las Vegas
- Montego Bay
- Los Angeles