Seats Snapped Up In Millennium Rush

Book early if you are planning to be away from home at the Millennium. That is the advice from British Airways with just nine months to go to the New Year seats on flights are being snapped up by passengers eager to celebrate the year 2000 in style.

Nearly half a million seats have already been booked on the airline`s jets over the Christmas and New Year period - an increase of 150 per cent on the same period last year - with the majority of passengers travelling to their destinations in plenty of time to celebrate the turn of the century.

New York, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Barbados are currently the favourite places to see in the New Year, with seats on these routes in great demand.

The strength of bookings reflects public confidence in British Airways` preparation for the Year 2000.

Since 1995 the airline has employed more than 150 experts all over the world to ensure it is ready for the Millennium. The carrier estimates the cost at some £100 million to ensure the bug doesn`t bite on the big night.


Bob Ayling, Chief Executive, said: “We are confident that we are making the best possible preparations for the Year 2000 and the amazing 150 per cent increase in bookings over the millennium period shows that our passengers share this confidence. British Airways will fly over the Millennium and beyond where there is consumer demand and, as ever, where it is safe.”

In addition, British Airways chairs a £15 million study being undertaken by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the world co-ordination body for aviation to collect data on the readiness of global airports and air traffic control systems.